The Punjab government is finally prepared to publicise ads for VCs appointments in various universities across the province that have been working without permanent heads of administration for several months now.
The vice chancellors’ post are lying vacant in at least 12 public sector universities of Punjab and the government has decided to advertise these vacant posts per a new appointment criteria. The new criteria, based on the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) model, has been approved for the purpose and ads for VCs appointments are likely to be carried in all major newspapers by February 20.
At least 12 public universities in Punjab have been working without permanent VCs, the administrative head of a university
According to well-placed sources, the provincial government has completed the preparations for the appointment process of permanent VCs at 12 public sector universities of the province. For the purpose, the Punjab chief minister and cabinet has given the go-ahead to run ads for VCs appointments to vacant posts and has also approved the new criteria prepared for the appointment of vice chancellors and the constitution of search committees.
As for the preparations made by the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED), the creation of search committees as per the new criteria has been approved by the cabinet, while the approval for conveners and members will be taken from the cabinet very soon.
Sources said per the new criteria, universities have been divided into three categories: general category, women universities and engineering and information technology universities. The division has been made so that specialized search committees can be constituted for each category with members that have experience and knowledge for each category.
The Punjab government will constitute five-member search committees for each of the three categories. The tenure of the committees will be of two years.
Per the floated names for search committees, Government College University (GCU) Lahore former vice chancellor Dr Khalid Aftab has been proposed as the convener for general category universities, while the members include Dr Arif Butt, a dean at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Beacon House University (BNU) Vice Chancellor Shahid Hafiz Kardar, the HED secretary and Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) chairperson.
For the women universities, Dr Khalid Hammed Sheikh has been proposed as the convener and the committee members include Dr Mira Phaibus, Nazish Atta Ullah, HED secretary and PHEC chairperson.
The proposed convener of the committee for engineering and information technology universities is Dr Khalid Aftab and other members include Mian Misbahur Rehman, Dr Anwar Khursheed, the HED secretary and PHEC chairperson.
It should, however, be noted that the Punjab government is yet to appoint a PHEC chairperson and the HED secretary has just been appointed to serve as the acting PHEC chairperson.
Delays and Snags
Earlier, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in Punjab decided to do away the old criteria in place for appointment of vice chancellors in the province and started working on a new criteria using the blueprints for the same from the KP province.
According to the newly-approved criteria, 35 marks have been set aside for research publications, 30 for administrative experience and 30 marks have been allocated for academic experience of the candidate. A candidate successful in obtaining 75 marks will be shortlisted for an interview, while 100 marks have been allocated for the interview conducted by the search committee.
The previous government also faced a hard time during the hiring of permanent vice chancellors at public sector universities, resulting in government universities being run by acting vice chancellors for years on end.