The Punjab University and the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) have new vice chancellors following a hectic past week that saw government officials running from pillar to post to select the most suitable candidates for the position in line with Supreme Court directives. Regardless of the fact that they will assume office in the interim period, not much is known about the two new VCs in charge of PU and LCWU affairs. Here’s what they are all about.

Punjab University

The Punjab University has not had a permanent VC since 2015 and previous acting VC, Dr Zakria Zakar, was removed from his position last Saturday on the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan Chief Justice Saqib Nisar. The Punjab Higher Education Department (HED) surely had a frantic week as it looked for a candidate to name to the post and avoid penalisation from the Supreme Court.

After conducting interviews of five senior-most professors of PU, Professor Dr Nasira Jabeen was proposed to take the reins of the oldest university in the country. Her becoming the VC is a historic occasion, as she has become the female to be take the VC’s seat in PU in the varsity’s 136-year history.

Dr Jabeen began her teaching career at Punjab University’s Institute of Administrative Sciences in 1984 as a lecturer. In 1995, she was promoted as an assistant professor and then became an associate professor in 1999. She was named a professor at the varsity in 2003.

Dr Jabeen earned the prestigious professorship of Prince Claus Royal Chair 2006-2007 in the area of Development and Equity at the School of Governance at University of Utrecht, Netherlands. She has been heading Punjab University’s Institute of Administrative Sciences since September 2009 as its director and also holds the position of dean at the faculty of Economics and Management Sciences.

The new PU acting VC received her early education in Sahiwal from Government Girls Pilot Secondary School and completed matriculation in 1973. She passed her intermediate examination from Multan board and secured a gold medal on the way. She studied at the Government College for Women, Sahiwal fro her bachelors.

Dr Jabeen with PU administrative officials after taking charge as VC.

She remained a gold medallist in BA from the Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan in 1979 and then moved to Punjab University for her master’s. There she did her master’s degree in public administration from Department of Administrative Science at the Punjab University in 1983. Dr Jabeen has an MS from School of Public Administration, University of Southern California and received her PhD in 1999 from Department of Management & Organization, Stirling University, Scotland. She completed her post-doc from South Asia Institute, University of Texas at Austin in 2008.

Prof Jabeen has national and international publications to her credit and has also contributed in the form of civil society works, including organizing relief campaign for earthquake victims in 2005 and flood relief work in 2010.

Lahore College for Women University

The LCWU’s former vice chancellor Dr Uzma Qureshi was relieved from her position by the Supreme Court of Pakistan last Sunday despite here pleas. The same committee that interviewed senior faculty from Punjab University conducted interviews of three senior faculty members at LCWU, the same day. Prof Dr Farkhanda Manzoor’s name was subsequently proposed for the VC’s chair.

Dr Manzoor started her teaching career in 1990 as a lecturer at Garrison Post Graduate College for Women. She became an assistant professor at the same college in 1998 and in 2004, she joined the LCWU as an assistant professor on tenure track statutes (TTS). She became an associate professor at LCWU in 2011 and the same year in October, she ascended to the position of professor.

Dr Manzoor has vast administrative experience and is the chairperson of the Department of Zoology at LCWU. She has served as the Director Linkages at LCWU, Senior Manager at Office of Research, Innovation & Commercialisation (ORIC), Director Academics, Incharge Zoology Society, member of the Faculty Board and member of the advance research Board at LCWU. She also served as the member of Board of Studies Zoology at the Punjab University from 2003 to 2005.

She is also a member of the Scientific Committee on Biotechnology & Kitchen Gardening at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCl) Lahore and member of the South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission in New Delhi, India. She serves as a member of the National Curriculum Revision committee in Entomology for the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC), as well as a member for the Royal Entomological Society London and the Entomological Society of America.

She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Ohio State University, USA. She completed her PhD in Entomology from Punjab University and did her MSc in Zoology from Government College University (GCU) Lahore. She also has an MEd degree and a post-graduate diploma in Environmental Law from University Law College, Punjab University.

Dr Manzoor has penned several books and also has several international publications to her credit. She has also written newspaper columns in English and Urdu dailies, as well as written programmes for television.

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