There are strong indications of rules violations in the nomination process for the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) Best University Teacher Award at a local varsity.
A number of professors at International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) alleged that the basic requirement of the HEC to intimate all the deans at the varsity was not fulfilled.
“There are nine deans and over 25 department heads in the university but it’s surprising that none of the senior professors knew about the award,” claimed a professor.
The award was initiated by the HEC in 2004 to encourage teachers after a thorough evaluation of their performance by committees in their respective universities.
Another prerequisite defined by the HEC for the selection of nominees is that the names of the best professors are to be recommended by a committee chaired by the vice-chancellor of the particular university and comprising the registrar and director Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC).
According to sources, IIUI did not form a committee for the evaluation of the award’s nominees.
When contacted, the nominee for the award, Prof. Irshad Arshad of the Statistics Department, who is also the QEC head at the university rejected any violation of rules in the nomination process. “Due process was followed and I was not the QEC head when I was nominated so this allegation of self-nomination is baseless,” he said.
A professor of social sciences department was of the view that it was strange that out of over 600 teachers at the university, only three submitted their portfolios with the university for the award.
He said there are professors recipient of the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology award which is another prestigious award, so why would they not apply for the HEC award, if they had known about it.
An official at the academics department told The Express Tribune on the condition of anonymity that there was no violation of rules. The university solicits credentials from three or four teachers every year and all the deans are intimated about the HEC award, he said. “If the deans did not share the information with professors, it’s not the university’s fault.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2013.