KARACHI: According to the laws governing the universities, no candidate can be vice-chancellor (VC) of any university if he has completed his two terms as VC of any university in the province, Dr Mirza Ali Azhar, the general secretary of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA), told The Express Tribune.
He also added that it is also unlawful that a person simultaneously holds charges of two different universities located some 140 kilometres apart. Prof Dr Noshad A Shaikh, who is already working as the VC of Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS), was appointed as the new VC of Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) on October 27 by the Sindh government.
It is stated in the Sindh Universities and Institutes Laws (Amendment) Act 2014 that the VC is appointed by the government for a period of four years, which may be extended for one more term on such terms and conditions as the government may determine.
Also, the VC cannot hold the charge of two universities simultaneously. Dr Shaikh is the VC of LUMHS and has taken over the charge of DUHS’s VC. Meanwhile, Dr Shaikh is also on his second term of VC in LUMHS.
“His appointment in DUHS is unlawful as he is already serving as the present VC in LUMHS,” said Azhar. “How can he be available to sort out matters of both the universities at the same time?”
The decision of appointing Dr Shaikh as DUHS’s VC for four years was a controversial step taken by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad by going against the CM’s orders, which the latter had forwarded along with the first summary to appoint Dr Saeed Qureshi as the VC of DUHS. Protesting against the unlawful appointment, the PMA challenged the decision of the governor in court. Keeping in view the unlawful selection, the court suspended Dr Shaikh from the VC’s post.
After his suspension on October 8, a new summary was moved to the Governor by the Sindh CM to appoint Dr Shaikh as the VC.
“No one can be the VC for more than two times but Shaikh has been the VC thrice,” pointed out Dr Saeed Qureshi, who was on the top of the merit list prepared by the search committee. “He has to give up the VC’s seat of any one [university] at least,” he said, clarifying that he will not go to court against this decision.
Qureshi also told The Express Tribune that after the former VC of DUHS, Professor Masood Hameed Khan, completed his tenure and the government invited applications for the post, it was clearly mentioned that ones who have completed their two terms as VC of any university should not apply, which means that Shaikh was not eligible for this post. The picture is still unclear and what step Shaikh will take in terms of his two posts can only be determined after his return to Pakistan next week, said his assistant, adding that Dr Shaikh has gone to London on a vacation.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2015.