Permanent DUHS vice-chancellor finally appointed after 20 months

KARACHI:03May:The wait for the appointment of a permanent vice-chancellor [VC] of Dow University of Health Sciences [DUHS] is finally over after 20 months.
The top candidate on the merit list for the VC, Prof Dr Saeed Qureshi, has been appointed for a term of four years. The chief minister had asked Governor House to appoint Umar Farooq as VC in the summary but Governor Muhammad Zubair, who is also the chancellor of the varsity, appointed Qureshi, keeping in view the search committee’s merit list.

The matter of the appointment of DUHS’s VC was taken to the judiciary when Prof Masood Hameed Khan’s second tenure as VC ended on September 15, 2015, and Prof Dr Noshad A Shaikh was appointed VC out of turn by then governor Dr Ishratul Ebad. Dr Qureshi, who was at the top of the list of candidates recommended for the post by the search committee, was not even considered.

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The Pakistan Medical Association [PMA] filed a petition and won the case, yet Dr Khan was allowed to continue his duties as acting VC. The former governor again appointed Dr Shaikh as VC, an appointment which was turned down when the matter was taken to court.

The PMA filed another petition stating that, according to the laws governing universities, no candidate can be the VC of any university if he has completed two terms as VC of any university in the province. The association claimed that Dr Khan was on his third term, as he was performing the duties of a permanent VC not acting one.

On December 30, 2016, the Sindh High Court’s Hyderabad Circuit Bench ordered the appointment of the permanent VCs of three public universities – Karachi University [KU], Sindh University [SU] and DUHS – within a month. A week after the court order, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah called the top candidates for the posts at KU and SU for final interviews – the candidates shortlisted for DUHS were not called.

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Prof Dr Fateh Muhammad Burfat was appointed VC of SU on January 19, while Prof Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan was appointed the head of KU four days later on January 23.

An official of CM House had, at the time, claimed that a meeting would be held with the governor within a week for the appointment of the DUHS VC. However, then governor Justice (retd) Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui died the same day the candidates had been called for the meeting.

The Sindh government on March 16 issued a notification ordering the removal Dr Khan as the acting VC and had given the additional charge, until further orders, to DUHS pro-VC Prof Dr Khawar Saeed Jamali.The news.