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Attack on universities’ autonomy! ZIQ and Saif tried to get VCs’ tenure reduced

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LAHORE: Vice Chancellors’ Search Committee Member Dr Zaffar Iqbal Qureshi and Information Technology University vice chancellor Dr Umar Saif had tried to ensure reduction in the tenure of public sector universities’ vice chancellors, sources told The Educationist. However, their move, in the absence of Education Minister Rana Mashhood, who was then abroad, failed due to strong resistance from universities.

2-ziq2-Omer Saif

A summery was forwarded to Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif through Provincial Higher Education Department with the recommendation to cut vice chancellors’ appointment period from existing four year to two years.
Sources in PHEC, PHED and universities said that following mounting pressure from academic staff associations and vice chancellors, the chief minister asked the committee headed by Syed Babur Ali to decide the matter. A meeting of the committee held at Syed Babur Ali residence where Dr Zaffar Iqbal Qureshi and Dr Umar Saif strongly supported the proposal to cut VCs terms.
However, all other members including the chair Syed Babur Ali advocated the case of four years very strongly and ensure failure of the ‘conspiracy to curtail
powers of VC’.
Earlier, academic staff associations of universities strongly reacted to the proposal to reduce tenure of vice chancellors.
Naimatullah Leghari, President Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations, had threatened a countrywide protest demonstration. Punjab University Academic Staff Association vice president Prof Dr Abid Hussain Ch and Secretary Dr Mahboob Hussain said some bureaucrats were continuously trying to misguide the chief minister on the issue of VCs selection, universities governance and VCs tenure.
UET ASA President Dr Sohail Aftab Qureshi had also rejected the proposal.
Mr. Ziq and Saif were not available for comments, despite repeaed attempts to reach them. The Educationist will give them proper space for their viewpoint and clarification, if any.

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