HEC, PHEC and HED high-ups say they are clear on recruitment policy
LAHORE: Confusion has emerged on the appointment and selection procedure of four vice chancellors at public universities of Punjab after a petitioner challenged the process calling it ‘illegal’ which can delay the process once again leaving varsities without vice chancellors.
Prof Dr Asmatullah through his counsel Advocate Azhar Siddique has prayed to the Lahore High Court that the new procedure for the appointment of VCs was illegal, alleging that blue-eyed professors would be appointed as VCs and for this purpose the law was changed in 2012. The petition maintained that contrary to the earlier rules, HEC was not being consulted and the established search committee had no legal powers for selecting candidates to be appointed as vice chancellors.
Punjab Higher Education Department (HED) invited applications for VCs at four posts at Punjab University (PU), Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), University of Sargodha (UoS) and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology (MNS-UET) Multan. The HED sought applications through an advertisement published in newspapers on November 4, while the last date to receive applications was December 4, 2015.
According to HED sources, a total of 200 candidates have applied for four universities; however, due to the petition and other issues the process could get delayed. The confusion in the selection process was not new as a lot of controversy surrounds the process after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
This is not the first time that universities faced a delay in the selection process. Earlier this year, 10 VCs’ recruitment was delayed and out of them three posts had not been filled to date.
The Educationist asked HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar that selection of vice chancellors is a very important concern and HEC does not have any say or role in this regard. Political influence is observed usually on the appointment of vice chancellors. Dr Mukhtar said, “ I do not agree, it is not important that HEC should be present everywhere. We say for the appointment of vice chancellors there should be a search committee formed on merit. A vice chancellor has to be a professor, teacher, academician and a good manager. The search committee has to look into all these factors before the appointment of an individual on the seat of vice chancellor.
On the other hand, PHEC and HED high-ups believed that the court case would not affect the timeline because they were very clear in the policy.