ISLAMABAD: From hiring of faculty to extension of contracts, processing of important files to running day-to-day affairs, everything at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST) Islamabad campus seems to be in disarray.
The FUUAST Islamabad campus at Zero Point in Sector G-7, as the principal seat of the university, commenced its teaching programmes in 2003, but it is being treated as a sub-campus. The administration here looks to the FAAUST Karachi campus administration for approval of every important file or decision.
Though the Islamabad and Karachi campuses are administratively integrated, teachers and other staff on the Islamabad campus lamented that despite being the principal seat under the university’s 2002 ordinance, its affairs are being run from the FAAUST Karachi campus.
A teachers’ union on the Islamabad campus alleged that various appointments have been made in the university by the FUUAST Karachi administration in violation of government-imposed ban on new hiring.
“Initially, we will stage token strikes and later complete strikes if the Islamabad campus is not devolved with full administrative powers,” said Dr Nazir Ahmad, head of the Physics Department and also the president of the teachers’ union.
He said that legally, the top management should be based at the Islamabad campus.
A teacher from the Department of Electrical Engineering said on the condition of anonymity that each appointment on the Islamabad campus was being made by FUUAST Karachi, sometimes in violation of government rules.
Ahmad said that anybody who disobeys the campus in-charge or the top administration is quickly replaced. He said Dr Ghazala, a former head of the Business Administration Department, was removed when she refused to induct contractual employees in the department.
“Dr Adnan Haider was also recently removed from the post of Engineering Department dean when he refused to obey illegal orders from the campus incharge and the additional registrar met the same fate,” he said.
State Minister for Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education Balighur Rehman recently told the National Assembly that the university administration could not be shifted to the capital as there was not enough space in the current building.
A new building for the FUUAST Islamabad campus has been under construction in Bhara Kahu for years, with only a boundary wall to show so far.
The minister said that under a new plan, Rs644 million has been approved for the completion of the building and the job will be done in four years.
Islamabad campus in charge Prof Abdul Razzaque Memon said everything was going on smoothly in the university.
“The vice chancellor visits the Islamabad campus every week and all pending files are handled smoothly. There is no issue of logjams,” he said.
Registrar Prof Dr Fahimuddin said that all affairs were being run without any hurdle. He said that when demands of some people were not met, they pointing their fingers at the top management. Memon said that the VC has the power to promote, demote or remove anybody if their performance is unsatisfactory.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2014.