FUUAST politics: Faculty questions opposition to VC nominations

Administration announces date of senate meeting for August 25 which will take place at KU.

Our Correspondent August 15, 2012

KARACHI: The faculty members of the Federal Urdu University criticised the opposition by the chairperson of the Higher Education Commission on Wednesday, calling it “an attempt to sabotage the six-month long search process.”

The HEC chairperson, Dr Javaid Laghari, in his letter to President Asif Ali Zardari declared all three candidates for the post of vice chancellor as “men of below-average performance”, The Express Tribune reported on Tuesday. The names were recommended by the university senate to the President, who is also the university chancellor. Following Laghari’s feedback, President Zardari turned down the recommendations and asked the university to call another senate meeting to discuss the objections raised by the HEC chairperson.

The university administration announced the date of the senate meeting for August 25 which will take place at the Karachi University.

In reaction to those remarks, faculty members along with Dr Syed Tahir Ali, who is the vice president of the FUUAST teachers’ association, held a press conference on Wednesday, warning a protest will be launched if the President does not clarify why these names were rejected.

The faculty members asked President Zardari to appoint one of the three candidates as vice chancellor since Laghari headed the search committee that recommended the names in the first place.

“Being the search committee convener, how could Dr Laghari not see the faults earlier?” asked Ali. “And why did he participate in voting for the candidates during the senate meeting he didn’t not find them competent.”

Faculty member, Dr Sajid Jahangir, pointed out that the HEC appointed one of the three nominees, Dr Syed Altaf Hussain, as the VC of Allama Iqbal Open University for two terms while another, Dr Moinuddin Ahmed, is overseeing at least three projects. “It could only be one of two things— either the HEC was making wrong decisions in the past or that its chairperson is wrong in this particular case,” said Dr Jahangir.

“The HEC is becoming an educational bureaucracy,” said faculty member Asghar Ali Dashti. “After six months of scrutinising almost 49 applications, this letter must have an agenda behind it.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.