From Faculty of Letter to Faculty of Humanities

Faculty of Humanities of Universitas Indonesia (FIB UI) used to bear the name Faculty of Letters University of Indonesia. Faculty of Letters was established on October 1, 1940 bearing a Dutch name, Faculteit der Letteren en Wijsbegeerte (Faculty of Letters and Philosophy). The opening lecture was launched on December 4, 1940, in Rechts Hogeschool (School of Law) building on Jln. Merdeka Barat 13, Jakarta Pusat (currently used by the Ministry of Defense). At that time, there were four departments, i.e. Department of Indonesian Literature, Department of Social Sciences, Department of History, and Department of Nationalities.

On February 2, 1950, Universiteit van Indonesie (nee Nooduniversiteit) was taken over by Balai Perguruan Tinggi Republik Indonesia (BPTRI-Board of Higher Education), a body established by the government, and its name changed to Universiteit van Indonesia. Since 1954, the name underwent change again to Universitas Indonesia, which included Faculteit der Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, which changed to Fakulteit Sastra dan Filsafat (Faculty of Letters and Philosophy) in 1947.

The existing department at that time were Department of Indonesian Literature, French Department, Chinese Department, and Archaeology Department. In the process, later on another department was added, namely the Department of Liberal Arts. Soon after the Department of Anthropology was established in 1957, the Department of Liberal Arts was liquidated in 1961.

In line with the development of science and society’s demand, Faculty of Letters expanded the number of its department to 14 departments: Indonesian Literature Department; Regional Literature Department (consisting of Javanese Studies Program); East Asian Literature Department (consisting of Chinese and Japanese Studies Program); West Asian Literature Department (consisting of Arabic Studies Program); Germanic Literature Department (consisting of German and Dutch Studies Programs); English Literature Department; Roman Literature Department (consisting of French Studies Program); Slavic Literature Department (consisting of Russian Studies Program); Archaeology Department; Library Science Department; and South Asian Department (established in 1975 but never admitted any student, and closed down in 1978). Korean Studies Program was established in 2006.

In the process, there was an idea to change the name of the faculty to the ‘Faculty of Humanities’. One of the reasons was the term ‘Letters’ nowadays has undergone a narrowing down meaning. The term sastra, which in Sanskrit originally means ‘culture’ or ‘knowledge’ has now acquired a narrow meaning referring to ‘arts that use language as their medium’. In this respect, sastra is considered to be the works of literary authors, such as novels, short stories, poetry, or play. Therefore, the public tended to view the Faculty of Letters as a place to study literature or to be trained as literary writers despite the fact that linguistics, history, philosophy, archaeology and library science are taught here, too.

Finally, the Faculty of Letters changed to the Faculty of Humanities (FIB) through the Rector’s Decision No. 266/SK/R/UI/2002 on 27 June 2002. Since the adoption of the new name, adjustments have been made in accordance with the master plan of the Universitas Indonesia as a State-Owned Legal Enterprise (BHMN). Some departments were restructured into studies programs, so currently there are fifteen studies programs and seven departments. The departments (Archaeology, History, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy, Library and Information Science, and Area Studies) primarily deal with planning and development in terms of knowledge and human resources.

The teaching and learning processes once in the past took place in several different locations: in 1940 the faculty was located on Jl. Merdeka Barat 13, Central Jakarta; Jl. Diponegoro 82, Central Jakarta; and in 1960 the campus was relocated to Rawamangun, East Jakarta; and since 1987 academic activities have taken place at Depok, West Java.

Deans (1950-now)

1950-1956 Prof. Dr. Prijono

1956-1961 Prof. Dr. Tjan Tjoe Siem

1961- 1964 Prof. Dr. R.M Soetjipto Wirjosoeparto, M.A., Ph.D.

1964-1965 Prof. Dr. Dr. Soemantri Brodjonegoro (Acting Dean)

1966    Prof. Dr. R. Koentjaraningrat

1966-1967       Anton M. Moeliono, S.S., M.A. (Head of Presidium)

1967-1969 Prof. Dr. R.B. Slametmuljana

1969-1975 Prof. Dr. Harsja W. Bachtiar

1975-1978 Prof. Dr. Haryati Soebadio

1979-1983 Gondomono, S.S., M.A.

1983-1989 Dr. Noerhadi Magetsari

1989-1995 Prof. Dr. Achdiati

1995-1999 Prof. Dr. Sapardi Djoko Damono

1999-2004 Prof. Dr. Abdullah Dahana

2004-2008 Prof. Dr.Ida Sundari Husen

2008-2013 Prof. Dr. Bambang Wibawarta, M.A.

2013-Present Dr. Adrianus Laurens Gerung Waworuntu, S.S., M.A.