For a later date: PU VC postpones syndicate meeting amid controversies

Published: December 29, 2017
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Punjab University. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Punjab University. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Punjab University’s Provisional Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar postponed the 1724th meeting of the Syndicate to be held on Friday after facing resistance from deans, principals and teachers of the varsity.

According to sources, the VC convened an emergency moot of deans and principals at the committee room of his office on Thursday to take them onboard over various controversial agenda items to be discussed in the meeting of the Syndicate.

However, the majority of deans and principals resisted the vice chancellor’s move and said he had no moral ground to chair the meeting of the Syndicate since he was facing corruption allegations.

They added there was also no representation of teachers in the body after the term of four members ended.

PU CEES Principal Professor Dr Sajid Rashid told the meeting that under prevailing circumstances, the VC should not convene the meeting or discuss policy matters and punitive actions since there was no representation of teachers in the highest statutory body.

He said that the university was also planning to handover two kanals of its land, besides the PIA Planetarium, and university teachers also had strong reservations over the matter.

PU teachers also criticised the vice chancellor for issuing negative statements against the Academic Staff Associations (ASAs) before the Senate Standing Committee. They said the whole academic community had condemned his statement and demanded that the words uttered before the committee be withdrawn. The VC then decided to postpone the meeting of the Syndicate.

On the other hand, the PU Teachers Front called on the Punjab chief minister and governor to intervene and take notice of the alleged malpractices of the vice chancellor.

The term of four representatives of teachers, elected through elections, on the seats of professor, associate professor, assistant professor and lecturer, had expired in June of 2017. The PU Teachers Front reacted strongly to the convening of syndicate meeting and taken up policy agenda items in the absence of their representatives.

The top of the syndicate agenda items included giving away two kanals of PU land near Pakistan International Airlines, Choburji, and conducting a regular inquiry against former acting chief engineer Faizul Hasan Sipra over allegations of malpractices in civil works.

Earlier, the PU VC Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar was accused of awarding contracts of civil works illegally without inviting tenders.

After publication of the news, Dr Nasar formed a committee to look into the matter and suspended the acting chief engineer.

Sipra, while appearing before the committee, submitted a written statement which said he was instructed by the vice chancellor to carry out civil works without a tender.

Sipra also challenged the credibility of the chairman of the inquiry committee, who was accused of receiving a benefit of Rs3.7 million by the vice chancellor.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2017.

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