Appointments at NUML: Younger faculty resents induction of retired officials

University says experienced officials are valuable additions to its faculty.


Express September 04, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


Young graduates and faculty members at the National University of Modern Languages (NUML) have resented the institute’s decision to induct retired officials in its faculty.


Sources informed that some retired government officials, including Dr. Z A Qureshi, Asharraf Anasari, Fouzia Nasreen and former ambassadors Amir Shandani and Abdul Salam have been appointed as faculty members in different departments of NUML on contract basis, following walk-in interviews conducted by the university a few days ago.

Additionally, a retired army officer, previously serving as head of the English department was appointed as Director Academics without following selection criteria. His appointment was already challenged in Islamabad High Court on grounds of him being superannuated, sources said.

The appointment of retired government officials in public universities as department heads is a violation of the rules set by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) as well as the verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in this regard.

A university official, requesting anonymity, said that HEC has set standards for appointments of lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors and professors, but some universities violate the criteria and make appointments out of nepotism. The official said that such faculty members are being hired on high packages ranging from Rs50,000 to Rs100,000, while on the other hand, competent young lecturers that possess relevant degrees in the field are hired at very low packages.

HEC Executive Director Sohail Naqvi said that the commission has given clear-cut instruction to universities against appointment of retired government officials on senior posts, including head of the departments/section, deans or chairpersons. However, such officials can be inducted as faculty members in view their relevant experience. He said that experiences of such people, at times, could be proved useful, however, young people must be preferred and encouraged to absorb the prevailing unemployment.

A spokesperson of NUML, Amir Saleem, said that the university has appointed these “veteran faculty members” keeping in view their vast experience in their respective fields. He said that the former ambassadors Salam and Shandani have good practical experience in international relations and would be a valuable addition to the university’s faculty.

Another official of NUML expressed concern over the “common misuse of the title of professor by some visiting faculty members at the university” that lack the required experience and specified number of research papers conducted in their fields to be entitled as professors or associate professors. “Many retired army officers, ambassador and people from different walks of life use these titles soon after joining any university as a teacher even for a brief period, which is a violation of rules” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.

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