Demand for appointing varsities’ heads

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Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD

Senior professors and former heads of universities have expressed concern over the delay in appointing vice-chancellors (VCs) of three leading universities of the federal capital which is taking a toll on the administrative and academic activities.

Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) VC Dr Javed Ashraf, Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) VC Dr Shahid Siddiqui and International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) VC Rector Prof Masoom Yasinzai are retiring in October.

On October 5, a search committee of the education ministry interviewed 28 shortlisted candidates for the three posts after a delay of eight months. The education ministry had advertised the three posts in March and had given a month’s deadline for submission of applications.

The shortlisted candidates included former HEC chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, former HEC executive director Dr Mansoor Kundi, outgoing IIUI Rector Dr Masoom Yasinzal and IIUI Vice-Chancellor Dr Mohammad Tahir Khalily.

The committee has forwarded names of nine shortlisted candidates to the prime minister for a final selection.

“There is no reason for the delay anymore,” a former VC told Daily Morning Mail.

The QAU, one of the largest universities of the country, has been facing a host of problems including the row between the faculty and the VC leading to protests and strikes.

“Ad-hoc appointments should not be made on top positions in higher learning institutes which creates confusion and destroys the smooth running of day-to-day affairs,” said a senior university professor.

He called for the immediate appointment of permanent heads of universities to ensure continuity of policies and uninterrupted academic activities at the beginning of new sessions.

He argued that ad-hocism and the interim setup was creating problems in the higher education sector.

Sources said that the process slowed down despite the fact that the posts were advertised well-before time and the government was supposed to finalise the names in August.

The teachers and heads of departments said the interim setup has wreaked havoc with the institutions of higher learning.

Sources said that HEC Executive Director Dr Arshad Ali has also written a letter to the education ministry with a request to appoint VCs at the earliest.

A former VC of a leading varsity termed the interim setup a disastrous for the universities and demanded the appointment of the VCs immediately to ensure continuity of policies.

“The interim setup and ad-hocism are lethal for education and the government should make the permanent appointments,” he said.

“Ad-hoc appointments should not be made for even a single day,” another former VC observed, saying during the interim setup, unscrupulous elements take advantage of the situation and obtain undue favours.

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