The key slot of vice-chancellors is vacant at several public sector universities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa at a time when critical processes are undertaken at these institutions.
The most important of these processes is making and passing the budget for the institutions for the next financial year apart from dealing with the consequences of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Express Tribune has learnt that the posts of vice-chancellor (VC) at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Bacha Khan University (BKU) and the Swabi University have been lying vacant for the past three months.
The coveted posts are vacant at a time when these educational institutions need to be guided in the right direction during the difficult times of Covid-19 and a financial crisis in the already cash-starved universities, a professor at UET in Peshawar said while requesting not to be named.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Engineering University Teachers Association (EUTA) General Secretary Professor Dr Sadiq Ali said that there is no VC in UET and other public sector universities at a time when the budget for these institutions has to be passed by their respective syndicates.
His sentiments were echoed by officials of the Swabi University Teachers Association (SUTA) who also demanded appointment of a vice chancellor in their varsity immediately. The teachers’ body in a statement on Monday said that due to absence of the vice-chancellor, the budget and other critical affairs of the university have come to a standstill. Dr Ali added that per the rules of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), its search committee is supposed to appoint new vice-chancellors at least a week before the incumbent retires. However, despite the passage of three months, no VC has been appointed in K-P varsities.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2020.