The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) and elected members of other teachers’ bodies have flayed the government for removing PhD as the requirement for being appointed as vice chancellor in a public sector university. In a joint statement issued on Thursday, the associations announced that they would never compromise on PhD condition for VCs’ appointment and demanded the government undo the decision.

FAPUASA Punjab Chapter President Dr Javed Ahmed, Central Vice President Dr Shoaib, University of Engineering and Technology’s Teaching Staff Association President Dr Sohail Aftab, PU Academic Staff Association office bearers Dr Azhar Naeem, Syndicate members Prof Dr Sajid Rashid and Mahboob Hussain, Senate members Dr Zaid Mahmood, Dr Kamran Abid, Dr Abdul Qayyum Chaudhry and others said that they had conveyed serious reservations of the academic fraternity in a meeting with Punjab Higher Education Commission’s Chairman Prof Dr Nizamuddin and Higher Education Department Secretary Dr Nabeel Awan at the Lahore Board.

They said that according to the new eligibility criteria, the research, administrative and academic experience of world’s renowned academicians had been made equal to the director of any waste management company. They questioned how a non-PhD VC could chair the meetings of Advanced Studies and Research Board in which PhD and high-level research matters were placed for decisions.

How could such a person promote a research culture when he or she had not done research at a higher level him or herself, they inquired.

The academics said all the teachers’ associations were on same page over the matter and the minimum eligibility criteria for appointment of a vice chancellor must be at least equal to the eligibility criteria for the appointment of a professor.

The statement added that the government had asked the academicians to submit their reservations in writing, which they would next week after consultation with elected representatives of teachers’ fraternity. The protesters said none of the elected representatives of the teachers’ community had been taken into confidence before the approval of such a regrettable criteria, adding that teachers would not accept any such criteria until they were taken on board.

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