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A dean needs to model a “can do” attitude says Dr. Umbreen

Some students are using different ways especially different softwares to steal others’ research work’

By Najeeb Ullah, Yasim Ali, Zamin Ali

Prof Dr Umbreen Javaid serves as Dean of the Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences of University of Punjab in Lahore and has been involved in higher education since 1992. This faculty comprises departments of Political Science and Social Work and Institute of Communication Studies and Social and Cultural Studies and all the academic and administrative matters pertaining to teachers and students in these departments and an institute are routed, supervised and dealt with by the Dean.

To complete this work, the office has to prepare many statements, notes and letters addressed to the departments and to various administrative sections of the university. In addition, proceedings of meetings of various committees and reports concerning policy matters and other duties assigned by the vice-chancellor are also prepared for submission to the vice-chancellor as and when required. We have a chance to have some useful talk with Prof Dr Umbreen Javaid for The Educationist’s readers.

The Educationist: Tell us about your research work.

 Dr Umbreen Javaid: I am serving as Dean of the Faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences since December 2018. Before accepting this position, I was chairperson and associate professor at Punjab University’s Department of Political Science. I have published fourteen books and one hundred and thirty research articles. Among the social sciences subjects, my interest is in the international relations, South Asian studies, political science, history, and strategic studies. I always preferred to do research along with teaching. I desired for a greater connection with people and to know that my work is making a more direct impact on lives.

The Educationist: Would you like to tell us about your personal life?

Dr Umbreen Javaid: About thirty-six years ago I was married to Javid Iqbal Awan, a DMG officer, currently posted as secretary of the Punjab Agriculture Department. I was born and raised in a military family. My father retired as army brigadier from the Engineering Corps. Secondly, my only daughter is currently doing BS (Hon) in Economics from the prestigious Lahore School of Economics (LSE).

The Educationist: What is your academic qualification?

Dr Umbreen Javaid: I have done my PhD from the Quaid-e-Azam University in 2003; MPhil in Political Science from the Islamia University of Bahawalpur in 1996, and MSc in Defense and Strategic Studies from the Quaid-e-Azam University in 1986. I have graduated courses from the Harvard University in 1988. I got my bachelor’s degree from FG College Islamabad while my major schooling was done at the Sacred Heart School Lahore.

The Educationist: What is your teaching experience?

Dr Umbreen Javaid: Since 2005, I am an associate professor at University of Punjab; I was assistant professor at the Political Science Department from 2002 to 2005. I was a lecturer of defence and strategic studies at Quaid-e-Azam University from 1995-1997. I enjoyed lectureship from 1992-1994 in Islamia University of Bahawalpur. Long time ago, I was a teacher at the Lahore Grammar School and the Lahore College of Arts and Science. Currently, I am teaching PhD and MPhil scholars.

The Educationist: What are your publications?

Dr Umbreen Javaid: I have published fourteen books and one hundred and thirty articles. Two books – Militant Extremism and Politics of Bahawalpur – are among my famous work besides Peace and Security in South Asia at the Pakistan Study Centre.

The Educationist: What is your contribution in the Political Science Department?

Dr Umbreen Javaid: As I am a research scholar, I do prefer to draw attention of my students towards qualitative research and publications. And we are collectively working together to develop a positive change in the society by molding their social and political behaviour. We have successful students who became scholars, teachers and officers. And many more on their way to achieve their goals under our umbrella. We have diversity here and provide them equal opportunities.

The Educationist: How we can minimize plagiarism if not stopped?

Dr Umbreen Javaid: We have to understand that there will be plagiarism if students avoid writing assignments until almost too late, do not study course material, have low confidence in their academic abilities, and just follow grades. Currently, some students are using different ways especially softwares to steal research work of other fellows or researchers. I would say that we have to link educational institutions through technology to improve research work and less control theft.

The Educationist: What kind of leadership qualities an effective dean should have?Dr Umbreen Javaid: I believe a number of leadership qualities necessary to be an effective dean. First and foremost, you must have a solid understanding and be committed to the institutional mission. However, an equally important emphasis on student success and completion and a dean needs to understand the role he/she plays in making that happen in the institution. The dean needs to model a “can do” attitude, embrace change and know how to affect change within the area of responsibility. Other leadership qualities include excellent communication and collaborative skills, and the ability to think and act outside of the box at times.

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