Infighting brings QAU to brink of academic collapse | Pakistan Today

Infighting brings QAU to brink of academic collapse

  • Dr Aqeel Bukhari says VC Dr Javed Ashraf lacks legal/moral authority to chair/convene meetings till final decision by court

ISLAMABAD: The ‘tug of war’ between vice-chancellor of the Quaid-i-Azam University and its Academic Staff Association (ASA), members of the Officers Welfare Association (OWA) and the Employees Welfare Association (EWA) has intensified with each passing day that not only gave bad name to the country’s top ranked university but also brought the reputed institute to the brink of the academic collapse.

The officials of ASA, OWA and EWA members lashed out at the vice-chancellor and stated that gross violations of the rules, regulations, merit, mismanagement and nepotism have landed the university in a miserable state. During a joint press conference here on Monday, they issued a charge-sheet against the vice-chancellor.

They said that the QAU has earned bad name during the past four years due to malpractice, severe irregularities and incompetence of the current university administration. ASA President Dr Aqeel Bukhari said that the QAU faculty has shown its deepest reservation over the incompetence of the vice-chancellor, as the situation has repeatedly led to severe unrest among the staff, students, and faculty.

He said that the president/chancellor took notice of the situation and instructed HEC to conduct a thorough inquiry into the QAU matters in 2016. In its report issued in February 2017, the HEC inquiry committee held the vice-chancellor responsible for gross violations and recommended his immediate replacement.

Presently, “the university is being governed without a permanent registrar, deputy registrar, examination controller, treasurer, planning director, purchase officer, and many others in the administration,” he said. The ASA president said that appointments of the academic heads, the deans and chairpersons have witnessed similar attitude of ad-hoc-ism past four years.

He said that the Linguistics Department has been closed, School of Management Sciences (QASMS) almost destroyed, and several others were under systematic attack due to the vice-chancellor. He pointed out that individuals with dubious credentials were appointed as professors and director by the vice-chancellor despite disapproval by the Syndicate.

The ASA president alleged that the VC tried to accord 15 increments in his salary (more than actual salary); bought a new car for himself despite ban on purchase of vehicles; tens of millions have been spent on the construction and furnishing of an expensive VC House; he is also in denial of payment of house rent (in millions) as per his contract agreement.

This year, the admissions for BS programmes are delayed by more than six weeks. In addition, unauthorised affiliations have been granted to dubious private institutions at the cost of the academic departments, he said. Having acquired the syndicate powers related to the student disciplinary cases, the vice-chancellor has been involved in students and employees’ politics, he said.

Dr Bukhari said that following the protest by the faculty members, the federal minister/pro-chancellor formed a bipartite committee to investigate irregularities in accordance with the QAU Act and the constitution and TORs of the committee were agreed and signed by the VC and faculty representatives. However, the TORs were continuously being violated and committee members being harassed, he said.

He said that Dr Javed Ashraf lacks the legal/moral authority to chair/convene meetings of any of the statutory body till the final decision by the court. He said that the higher authorities were requested to take urgent notice of irregularities for smooth functioning in future and well-being of this prestigious national institution of higher learning.

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