Pakistan News

Largest university of Punjab sans VC for a year: PUASA

LAHORE: The Punjab University Academic Staff Association Executive Council (PUASA) on Friday demanded appointment of regular vice chancellors (VCs) at seven public sector universities of the province.

These public universities are working without regular VCs for the last several months, causing administrative and academic problems for the faculty, employees and students.

They include Punjab University, University of Okara, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, University of Layyah, Thal University, Bhakkar, Ghazi Khan University, Dera Ghazi Khan and the University of Jhang.

The demand for regular VCs was made in a meeting presided over by PUASA President Prof Dr Azhar Naeem while Secretary Dr Amjad Abbas Khan Magsi moderated the proceedings.

Demands posting of regular VC at six public universities

The participants said the oldest and largest university of the province (PU) was working without a regular VC for about a year. GCU VC Dr Asghar Zaidi held the additional charge of PU VC for three months from November 2022 till January 2023. They said the temporary VC Prof Dr Niaz Ahmad Akhtar had relinquished his charge after his appointment at Quaid-i-Azam University and the PU was working without a VC for the last one week. They said the VC’s absence had created many administrative, financial and academic issues at the university. They demanded the chancellor to take notice of the situation at the PU and ensure appointment of a regular VC and pro VC.

The other universities are also running under stopgap arrangements as Prof Shoukat Malik was given charge of the University of Layyah, Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar University of Jhang, Prof Dr Sajid Rasheed University of Okara, Prof Kamran Ghazi University, University of Mianwali VC Prof Dr Inyatullah Khan is holding the temporary charge of VC of Thal University, Bhakkar.

Last month, the caretaker government’s cabinet meeting dissolved the search committee led by former federal minister Shafqat Mahmood.

The government had directed the Higher Education Department (HED) to submit a summary for the constitution of a new search committee to conduct interviews for the VCs’ posts.

A candidate for the post of the PU VC told Dawn faculty members, employees and students did not take the interim VC seriously while the caretaker setup could also not take any decision on it. He said the university could not approve the annual budget and the campus was facing various problems. He said the VCs of six more universities would also retire next month.

A senior official of HED said the government had dissolved the previous search committee in the last cabinet meeting. He said the department had moved the summary for constitution of the new search committee and it would conduct interviews for the post of VCs.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2023

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