HYDERABAD: Sindh Law Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro has assured the Sindh University’s teachers of his ministry’s help to amend the law which regulates their university.
“He assured us that he will coordinate with the education minister, who is also the pro-chancellor of the [public sector] universities for the proposed amendments,” said Dr Azhar Shah, president of the SU Teachers’ Association, after meeting the minister on Saturday evening.
The Sindh University’s teachers want an end to the discretionary authority exercised by the Sindh governor’s office in the appointments of the university’s top officials. The last three and a half years of vice-chancellor Dr Nazir Mughal’s administration were marked by recurrent teachers’ protests and class boycotts.
A senior teacher and administration official, Prof. Bashir Channar, was among the half dozen students who have been killed on campus in the same period. “Dr Mughal was made the VC through a direct hiring process by the governor. No advertisement was given for the job,” Dr Shah told The Express Tribune. The association has been struggling for Mughal’s removal since January, 2012, after the killing of Prof. Channar.
The teachers seek an amendment in the Sindh University Act, 1972, related to the appointment of the VC, pro-VC and registrar to set rules and procedures for selection of the officials against these posts.
The teachers’ association representatives handed over a draft of amendments to the minister. It demands restricting the age limit to 65 years for a VC, higher criteria for qualification, experience and other credentials, and appointing a search committee of three to five members to shortlist applicants for the VC post and recommend three names to the provincial government for appointment of one suitable candidate from among them.
The draft also calls for an end to the practice of giving extensions to the VC upon completion of their four-year tenure. “The Punjab government reformed their public sector universities laws with these insertions in 2012 while the Peshawar University Act was amended in 2011 to lay down these rules,” said Dr Shah.
The teachers also want transparency in the appointment of the pro-vice chancellor who, they say, should be selected from the three most senior professors of the varsity. The draft amendments pertain to sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Act.
The SU, boasting an enrollment of over 25,000 students, has eight teaching faculties comprising 53 departments, institutes and centres which offer education in as many disciplines. Additionally, 15 private and 79 government colleges in the province are also affiliated with the university.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.
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