Academic and administrative activities at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) have suffered for more than four months as the university awaits its full-time vice chancellor. Both university and government officials appear flummoxed over the reason for the inexplicable delay.
Meanwhile, FUUAST’s current vice chancellor, Prof. Dr Mohammad Qaiser, finds himself in a tough spot as he took charge as Karachi University’s vice chancellor on February 10. While talking to The Express Tribune, Qaiser said that he wanted to devote all his attention to managing the Karachi University. “I am absolutely ready to get off this dual responsibility.” However, he added that, “it is not true that I have been considering resigning from the Urdu University’s vice chancellorship.”
On the other hand, by virtue of its status as a federal university, FUUAST’s chancellor happens to be the president of the country. Dr Qaiser had been reportedly asked by President Asif Ali Zardari to retain his designation at the federal university till the process for the selection of a new head for the university was completed.
President House spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar, however, told The Express Tribune that he was not aware about the current status of the vice chancellor’s appointment.
The federal university’s senate finalised the members of a search committee on March 15, whose job was to find suitable candidates for the vice chancellorship. The committee recommended four candidates to the university’s senate on March 28, after it had scrutinised 49 applications. Dean of KU’s faculty of arts Prof. Dr Zafar Iqbal, Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education’s rector Dr Altaf Hussain, FUUAST botany department faculty member Prof. Dr Moinuddin Ahmed and Government College University Faisalabad’s former vice chancellor Dr Shahid Mehboob Rana were recommended by the search committee.
The delay in the appointment of the full-time vice chancellor, however, seems to be partially caused by the president’s busy schedule.
The president, who is also the chairman of the university’s senate, is supposed to give approval for the convening of a meeting of the university’s senate. “The senate is awaiting approval from the president to convene a meeting for finalising the name [of the new vice chancellor,” said a member of the search committee, Prof. Dr Tauseef Ahmed Khan.
One of the four candidates for the top job, however, told The Express Tribune that President House officials were not satisfied with any of the academics whose names had been put forward by the search committee.
FUUAST registrar Prof. Dr Qamarul Haq said that a letter had been sent to the President’s House as soon as the committee had made its recommendations.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2012.