The posts of vice-chancellors (VCs) in 13 public sector universities, mostly lying vacant for one year, is yet to be filled by the Punjab Government.
According to reports in the local media, the cause of delay in the appointments is government’s plan to implement the same model enforced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in the last five years.
Addressing the concerns, the Provincial Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun Sarfraz shared on Twitter that “we are coming up with a transparent policy (similar to the one in KP) and will nominate a high profile search committee to appoint the best possible VCs in all those universities by the end of the year”.
The 13 universities yet to get regular VCs include: the Lahore College for Women’s University; Women’s University of Multan; University of Home Economics of Lahore; University of Jhang; Information Technology University (ITU) of Lahore; Punjab Tianjin University of Technology; University of Engineering and Technology of Taxila; Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences; University of Agriculture of Faisalabad; PMAS-Arid Agriculture University of Rawalpindi; University of Narowal; Government College for Women’s University of Faisalabad; and Government College for Women’s University of Sialkot.
Search committees during the interim government conducted interviews of candidates for the University of Jhang and ITU. The Punjab Higher Education Commission (HED) recommended three top candidates for both universities for appointment to then interim chief minister Dr Hassan Askari. After that, the HED again sent the summary to Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, who halted the process for appointment of VCs for the University of Jhang and the ITU.
Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Nizamuddin said that the government should have appointed VCs of Jhang and IT universities. He said that the government should constitute separate search committees for health universities, agriculture, engineering, information technology, women, and general universities.
Dr Nizamuddin added that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa model would need new legislation which could further delay the appointments.