By Hasnain Raza
Vice Chancellor Ghazi University Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq, who is also VC Islamia University Bahawalpur, said “I have held many senior level administrative positions but this (GU) is different, as I have had to start the university from scratch, as a Vice Chancellor. There were no proper classes, less faculty members and the big challenge was that GU was not HEC recognized.”
The Educationalist interviewed Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq with reference to Ghazi University. Following are the details:
The Educationalist: How did you take up a start as VC in GU and what was the challenge?
Prof. Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq: I have held many senior level administrative positions but this is different, as I have had to start the university from scratch, as a Vice Chancellor. There were no proper classes, less faculty members and the big challenge was that GU was not HEC recognized, which Allhamdulillah I have done with the cooperation of my staff of GU. And how to make university credible and attract the best students, who have passion, commitment, leadership potential and come from diverse backgrounds. Students at that time used to prefer BZU, Multan. My big challenge was to get back our city students to their own new university in their own city. Lack of funds, poor infrastructure were a problem and still it is but I am sure this issue will be resolved soon.
The Educationalist: What initiatives you have taken in GU?
Prof. Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq: After taking charge, I called for a meeting with staff and asked them to do their best for the progress of the university. Because this university is very worthy and it covers two provinces like Punjab and Baluchistan huge number of students are getting admission in this university. Citizens, students and parents expect a lot from us and we are working hard to meet their expectations. I opened new faculties and departments in the university. I made structure of the GU, established Academic Council and recently held the first meeting of Academic Council. I also set up faculty boards. There was no syllabus; recently I have got approved the syllabus of GU from HEC. We have got budget approval from HEC. The current infrastructure of GU is not good and taking the steps to shift the GU in its new campuses which is far from the main city.
The Educationalist: How you manage your time in two universities?
Prof. Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq: Yes, the responsibility of Islamia University is also on my shoulders, but I try to give maximum time to GU. To mange two universities at a time are tough but not impossible. I try my level best to come to GU at least once a week. I try to visit GU every Friday and handle all the matters and do my pending work. But on other days of week I get in touch with university through emails, fax and in remain in contact with Registrar of GU Mr. Najeeb Haider. He looks after the university in my absence and gives report to me on a daily basis.
Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq is a prominent Pakistani mathematician and academic who has made numerous contributions in the field of Group theory and Semigroup. He had done his D.Phil, which is the term of PhD from Oxford University, England in 1983. He did his MSc and M.Phil from Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad. Currently he is working as an acting vice chancellor of Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan and Vice-Chancellor of Islamia University, Bahawalpur. In the past he also served as acting VC of Quaid-E-Azam University.
The Educationalist: How would you compare the university environment of GU and other universities of Punjab?
Prof. Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq: GU infrastructure is not good as compared to other universities of Punjab. Other universities of big cities have good infrastructure but not GU due to its geographical value attracts students from all four provinces of Pakistan.
The Educationalist: What opportunities do you see for GU to play on the national stage?
Prof. Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq: We have started with very high hopes and we are quite hopeful that soon it will start showing national impact. However, all these will take a little time for giving shape to all our vision towards making a national mark. Besides academic learning, we are also focusing at all round development of the students.
The Educationalist: What is the vision and ideas for research promotion in the university?
Prof. Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq: Universities main function is knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination. Knowledge creation is all about research which is one of the important activities of the university faculty members. How good they will be in research initiatives will ultimately depend on the quality of teachers’ intake. My endeavor will be to attract, retain and nurture best talent to this university. Once you have the talent pool, there will be smooth ride, be it research or academic initiatives or technology integration. Research is no doubt an important area for us. I give task to my faculty members to write impact factor research papers, and Projects of PHEC Level. PHEC are ready to provide us all kind of support in this direction. In future will conduct conferences in GU.