Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Mukhtar Ahmad has taken notice of the matter of an immoral quiz at COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI).
In a statement, Dr Mukhtar Ahmad wrote, “HEC has taken serious note of the unfortunate incident and Comsats University Islamabad has informed that it’s an old case, Visiting faculty member was sacked and blacklisted”.
On the other hand, CUI has clarified its position and states that the university has nothing to do in the matter as the visiting faculty member presents sealed exams which are only provided to students. The administration claimed that it took notice as early as possible and sacked the faculty member immediately.
The statement issued by CUI states, “A matter dated January 5, 2023, regarding an objectionable quiz was highlighted on social media recently. The COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI) has always taken academic integrity very seriously. In the instant case, a visiting faculty hired temporarily for a semester used inappropriate and unethical content in a quiz. Being not in line with the values and norms of any educational institution, the CUI acted as per rules and regulations, by sacking the visiting faculty and blacklisting him for any future employment at CUI.
As per details, a visiting faculty was hired on a temporary basis to teach two courses for Fall 2022 semester at CUI Islamabad Campus. The matter, regarding the unethical contents of the quiz on the subject, of English Comprehension and Composition was reported by the Head, Department of Humanities, CUI Islamabad Campus on January 5, 2023.
A meeting was convened on the same day under the convenorship of the Rector CUI where it was observed that the contents of the quiz were highly objectionable and unethical. Keeping in view the severity of the matter, the services of the visiting faculty were immediately terminated and he was blacklisted for any future employment at CUI.
It is important to note that as per practice each course is evaluated during a semester through a minimum of four quizzes, four assignments, a midterm exam and a final examination. As per practice, final and midterm exams are submitted in sealed envelopes by a faculty member to the Head of the Department. However, quizzes announced or unannounced, are conducted by a faculty member during the scheduled classes without any external moderation, similar to any other university.
In this specific instance, the quiz (not the exam) was given solely by the visiting faculty member as per practice. Nevertheless, keeping in view the rules, regulations, and ethical and cultural values of the University, severe action was taken right away by terminating the services of visiting faculty members from the university with immediate effect and blacklisting him for any future employment at CUI. It is pertinent to mention that the visiting faculty has already confessed to the grave mistake and termed it an oversight and has extended an apology verbally as well as in writing.
It is important to mention that CUI is committed to ensuring the delivery of quality education. CUI has clear policies and procedures in place to prevent academic misconduct and expect that all members of our academic community adhere to these standards. CUI will not tolerate any behavior that undermines the academic integrity of our university. CUI would like to assure our students, parents, faculty and staff that we take matters of academic integrity seriously. CUI will continue to work hard to maintain high academic standards, keeping in view the cultural context of Pakistan.”