Administrative favouritism : Govt fails to standardize salaries of VCs

Huge disparity exists between the monthly remuneration received by the incumbent chairmen

Safdar Rizvi June 20, 2024
Karachi University. PHOTO:


With the government declaring an education emergency just last month, the academic sector is evidently in a state of administrative and financial decline yet state authorities in the country have still failed to monitor the performance and regulate the remuneration of the higher education sector’s key players, the Vice-Chancellors.

Despite repeated attempts made by the Universities and Board Department since October 2023 to standardize the salaries of Vice-Chancellors serving their tenures across universities in the province, a huge disparity exists between the monthly remuneration received by the incumbent chairmen, with some fortunate VC’s receiving handsome pay checks for only supervising the affairs of a handful of departments and others allocated a much smaller share despite simultaneously managing multiple departments across several universities.

“The current situation at public universities is both strange and precarious. Some VC’s who are tirelessly managing universities with thousands of students and dozens of departments are being paid way less than the salaries afforded to some VC’s, who are supervising universities with barely a hundred students and a handful of departments,” divulged a VC from a university, on the condition of anonymity.

“In spite of the fact that I am managing the affairs of multiple universities in the province, my salary is unreasonably low in comparison to other VC’s. Such inconsistency in salaries affects the performance of the poorly paid incumbents,” anonymously commented a VC from a public institution.

The VC’s concerns were voiced in a letter written by the Universities and Board Department, which proposed the idea of standardizing salaries of Vice-Chancellors on the basis of the size of the university, number of enrolments and faculty, the performance of the institution, job market success of graduating students and the experience and professional stature of the Vice-Chancellor. It was further demanded that the basic salary of the Vice-Chancellor should be fixed at an amount equal to the salary of a TTS Professor, that is roughly Rs0.6 million.

However, contrary to this, the Vice Chancellors of 27 public universities are currently on starkly different salary packages to the point where some like IBA-Karachi Director are being paid Rs2.5 million per month while others like Dr Sarosh Lodhi, VC of NED University are only making Rs0.5 million.

Furthermore, it was also alleged that five out of 22 permanent Vice-Chancellors have been awarded the maximum Tenure Track Statute (TTS) by the Chief Minister of Sindh. However, a former Vice-Chancellor of the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto University of Law continued to receive a salary of more than Rs3 million without the approval of the provincial minister.

On the other hand, shedding light on the darker side of academic administration, another VC added, “A budget of billions of rupees is given in the hands of Vice-Chancellors by paying them a few millions as salary. It is no surprise that reports of abuse of power surface in no time.” Sources also indicate that the heads of IBA Karachi and the Dawood Engineering University had once again recommended the controlling authority for an annual increase in their salaries and the matter is currently subject to the recommendation and approval of the Sindh Chief Minister.

“There is a possibility of standardizing the salaries of the Vice-Chancellors and reducing the disparity that currently exists. We have once again sent a summary for approval and now are awaiting orders from the controlling authority,” asserted Noor Samu, former secretary of the Universities and Board Department.


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