Punjab govt making headway in appointing VCs

Will conduct interviews in coming week for University of Okara vice chancellor

Ammar Sheikh June 21, 2018

LAHORE: The Punjab government will conduct interviews in the coming week to select a vice-chancellor for the University of Okara, after a new Higher Education Department (HED) secretary is appointed.

After interviewing candidates for the position of vice chancellor at the University of Sahiwal, the provincial government is preparing to conduct interviews for the same position at the University of Okara, stated an official requesting anonymity.

A total of 151 applicants, the highest number for any varsity currently advertised, had applied for the post, the official revealed.

“The scrutiny of the applications is underway at the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC), which is expected to be completed soon,” the official added.

The date for the interviews will be finalised after the new HED secretary takes charge, the official reiterated. Meanwhile, Punjab Small Industries Managing Director Khalid Saleem is expected to be appointed as the new secretary.

Sahiwal and Okara to get their own varsities

After the process of scrutiny is completed, a search committee will conduct interviews. The committee consists of Akhuwat Foundation Executive Director Dr Amjad Saqib as the convener, while members include Punjab Information Technology Board Chairperson Dr Umar Saif, Kinnaird College former principal Dr Mira Phailbus, PHEC Chairperson Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, the official detailed. The HED secretary is also included in the committee, he added.

More than 50 of the prospective candidates who had submitted applications had also applied for the post at Punjab University and the University of Sahiwal. Punjab University former VC Dr Zakaria Zakar and Dr Shahid Munir had also applied for the post, the official said.

Earlier, interviews for the University of Sahiwal were held in which 27 candidates, out a total applicant pool of 101, appeared for the post of vice chancellor.

The interviews were held by the search committee which consisted of Dr Umar Saif as convenor. Members included Lahore Grammar School Director Nighat Yawar Ali, University of Engineering and Technology former vice chancellor Muhammad Akram Khan and Government College University Political Science Department Chairperson Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt, while HED secretary Nabeel Awan served as the secretary for the committee.

After the University of Okara, HED will hold interviews for the University of Home Economics and Women University Multan.

The HED sped up the appointment process after the absence of a permanent head was noted by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. The HED is looking to make appointments at several varsities across the province, including Women University Multan, Ghazi University Dera Ghazi Khan, University of Okara, University of Home Economics Lahore, University of Jhang, University of Sahiwal and Information Technology University Lahore.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2018.


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