QAU-HEC row: Body formed to probe ‘irregularity’ in faculty appointments

The panel is to submit findings within 15 days


Qasim Abbasi/riazul Haq April 27, 2016
Quaid-i-Azam University. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: Syndicate of Quaid-i-Azam University on Wednesday formed a committee to probe the allegations levelled against the university’s Academic Staff Association (ASA) in influencing the appointment and promotion of faculty members.

The committee is comprised of former MNA Mehreen Anwar Raja, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Vice-Chancellor Dr Sohail Naqvi and Dean of Biological Sciences Dr Waseem Ahmed, Commandant Armed Forces Postgraduate Medical Institute Major-General Zahid Hamid, Mehran University’s former vice-chancellor Dr Abdul Qadeer Rajput and HEC consultant Muhammad Ismail.

The committee has been tasked to submit its report in 15 days.

The ongoing wrangling between HEC chairman and ASA has created a new debate regarding the powers and mandate of the higher education body regarding university affairs.

There has been a heated debate between the ASA and the HEC on the matter related to the demotion of three faculty members in the university by its syndicate.

The representative body of the academic staff believed that the HEC chairman who is also a member of the QAU syndicate exceeded his powers and tried to influence the whole proceedings.

Rebutting the allegations, HEC insists the issue was settled as per rules and regulations.

The controversy came to light when ASA wrote a letter to the HEC chairman expressing their grievances by endorsing a copy of the same letter to the media.

They blamed the HEC chairman for influencing the demotion of three faculty members of the university.

They described HEC chairperson’s role ‘derogatory’ and also considered it as an example of transgression into the institutional autonomy of the country’s top-ranking university.

In response, HEC issued a clarification stating that the syndicate annulled appointments of some faculty members of the university done in violation of the criteria for appointment of university teachers as per the tenure track system (TTS).

The commission alleged that although it was mentioned in the notifications that appointments shall be effective subject to endorsement by HEC, the university made the appointments in anticipation without waiting for the endorsement.

It argued that the evaluation of the cases revealed that they did not qualify for the appointments, and the same was also communicated to the university.

Discussion during the syndicate’s meeting, vice-chancellor of the university admitted that the faculty members did not qualify for an appointment but said he was forced by the academic body to approve their cases.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2016.

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