The Punjab government aims at completing the incomplete and much delayed process of appointment of vice chancellors at seven different public sector universities in the province within the next one month. However, the final decision regarding the appointments will still be taken by the new government and is expected to be delayed until after the upcoming general election 2018.
So far, the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED) has conducted interviews of VC applicants for vacant seats at the University of Sahiwal, University of Okara, Ghazi University Dera Ghazi Khan and Information Technology University (ITU) Lahore. Interviews against vacant VC seats at University of Jhang, Women University Multan and University of Home Economics Lahore have yet to be conducted.
A source in the department who spoke on condition of anonymity said the incumbent interim regime was hesitant to make an appointment for the universities even where all the requisite steps of the process had been completed.
He explained that authorities were unclear about the directives of the Supreme Court regarding the appointment. “A clarification from the SC will be sought and appointments will be made once fresh directives are received,” he said. The official added that the HED would approach the court in writing within the next few days.
Offering further details, the HED official said the department was hoping to complete the process of appointments at all seven universities within a month, adding that the department had already scheduled interviews of candidates of University of Jhang, Women University Multan and University of Home Economics Lahore.
Besides, the HED has asked the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) to suggest and submit names of panellist who will conduct interviews of candidates for another nine universities of Punjab where the incumbent VCs are set to see their terms end in the coming months.
These nine universities include University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore, Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB), University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Taxila, Government College University (GCU) Faisalabad, University of Gujrat (UoG), Government College for Women University (GCWU) Faisalabad, Government College for Women University (GCWU) Sialkot, University of Narowal and University of Murree.
The tenure of VCs at UET Lahore, IUB, GCU Faisalabad and UoG will end on December 16, 2018, while the term of VCs of GCWU Faisalabad and GCWU Sialkot will expire on September 9 and 11, 2018, respectively. The VC’s seat at UET Taxila became vacant when the former VC Dr Niaz Ahmed was appointed the VC of Punjab University. On the other hand, the University of Narowal and the University of Murree have been established only recently by the Punjab government and no vice chancellor has been named to head the institutions.
The search committee for each university will be constituted for a period of two years from the proposed panels and will be tasked with interviewing the candidates who apply for the top slots at these universities.