committee sent names of five candidates to FUUAST varsity’s deputy chair

Karachi:April 24:The administrative chaos at the Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast) has been making headlines for the past three years, but now faculties and students of the varsity are expecting that malpractices are going to be ended as the varsity’s search committee — an authorised body, has finalised the names of applicants for the vacant position of vice chancellor (VC).

After two years of delay, the committee sent the names of five candidates to the varsity’s deputy chair of the senate on Friday. The finalised candidates are the current acting VC, Prof Dr Syed Altaf Hussain, Prof Dr Moin Uddin Ahmed, Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem, Prof Dr Hafiz Muhammad Iqbal and Prof Dr Muhammad Mukhtar.

The search committee comprised seven members -- convener Shahid Shafiq, Fuuast registrar Afzal Ahmed, syndicate member Dr Ismail Moosa, former Senate member Dr Parveen Akhtar Usmani, Vice Chancellor Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design Hina Tayyaba Khalil, Fuuast Senate member Abdul Qadeer Rajput, former Karachi University Urdu Department’s chairman Prof Dr Moinuddin Aqeel and Prof Dr Muhammad Zahid, Chairman of the zoology department at Fuuast.

Since August 2015, the position of VC has been vacant as the president of Pakistan, chancellor of the federal universities including Fuuast, had terminated vice chancellor Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal over corruption charges.

On the same date, the president had formed a search committee and given the task of selecting a capable candidate who could be appointed as permanent VC at Urdu University. During this period, however, grave mismanagement was observed since Sulaiman D Muhammad resumed office as acting VC at Fuuast and replaced Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal.

On February 1, 2013, Dr Iqbal was selected as full-fledged VC of Urdu University by the president, but he (the president) terminated his services on corruption charges in August 2015. Afterwards, the dismissed VC challenged the president’s orders and got a stay order of the status of the search committee from the Islamabad High Court.

On August 15, 2017, the court allowed Dr Iqbal to join the varsity again but directed the varsity’s senate to convene a meeting and hear him. For the second time, he continued his job only for two months.

On October 6, 2017, Dr Iqbal refused to appear before the senate. On his absence, the senate proposed to the chancellor to appoint Prof Dr Syed Altaf Hussain as new acting VC.

On December 6, 2017, the president house notified the appointment of Dr Hussain and directed him to activate the search committee.

Shahid Shahfiq told The News the Fuuast’s search committee remained inactive for more than two years because of the stay orders. There were two stay orders on the search committee, one was obtained by Zafar Iqbal from the IHC and another by Ghulam Bashir Bughio, an employee of Fuuast, from the Sindh High Court. Therefore, the members were unable to take any step.

He said the new acting management of Fuuast published an advertisement in newspapers for the post of VC in January 2018. In this connection, round 10 formal meetings were called and after a long assessment procedure, the committee finalised five names.

He said the deputy chair would disclose the names of the candidates in the next senate meeting to be held soon and a simple majority of the senate would forward three names to the chancellor.

However, Fuuast registrar Afzal Ahmed said the faculties and ad hoc administration wanted to put the varsity on the right track. The new VC should be appointed as soon as possible to tackle the matters in his own way.

“Appointing a permanent management and appropriate decisions of the managerial bodies, including the senate, graduate and research management council, academic council, admission committee and affiliation committee, could be helpful in the restoration of educational activities at Fuuast.”The news.