The International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) lost its last administrative head with its rector’s departure on forced leave three months ago. But administrative issues have been confounding the university for about 18 months now when Prof. Anwar Siddiqui, IIUI president, retired in December 2010.
The university has been running on an ad-hoc basis ever since, with administrative affairs being severely affected due to the dysfunctional state of the decision-making bodies at the varsity.
The IIUI’s board of trustees — which consists of representatives of various Islamic countries — have not met since December 2006, which violates the university’s own policy of holding at least one meeting annually.
This has also affected the university’s Board of Governors (BoG). Some members of the BoG are to be changed every three years, according to university policies. Since no BoT meeting has taken place in over five years, certain members have not been nominated to BoG, according to a senior IIUI official.
Consequently, the administrative decisions are being taken by an incomplete board since 2009, which is against the university’s rules and regulations.
“Due to the absence of quorum, the university has not [even] been able to pass its budget this year,” said the official.
Currently Sahibzada Sajidur Rehman, one of the three vice presidents, is holding the additional charge of president, while Quaid-i-Azam University Vice Chancellor Dr Masoom Yasinzai is performing the additional duties of the rector.
Rehman is a retired official with no prior experience in administration. This violates the Supreme Court’s decision barring retired officials from holding administrative positions in public institution. Only last week, the Islamabad High Court sacked two superannuated professors of IIUI and directed the administration to end their contracts.
But Rehman insists that all administrative affairs are running “smoothly” and the process of appointing the president has also been completed. He contended that the trustees could not travel to Pakistan due to “security concerns”, which is why the annual meetings could not take place.
Justifying his superannuated status, he said the rules do not apply to senior positions, adding that he was nominated for the post by Prof. Siddiqui and appointed by the rector as he fulfilled all the requirements.
IIUI was established in 1980 by military dictator General Ziaul Haq with the support of several Islamic countries. The representatives of these countries are among the members of the trustees’ board.
Initially, the university offered only Islamic courses but with the passage of time, the faculties of social, administrative and natural sciences as well as business administration were also established.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.