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Hard-to-get: Top slot at KIU still vacant

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HunzaNews April 16th, 2014.

Former VC Dr Najma Najam completed her four-year term in June 2013. Immediately after, she was granted a six-month extension by the President of Pakistan on the recommendation of the KIU governing body.

Earlier this year in January, a summary with three names was sent by the KIU Senate to the President, which was rejected. The former was also issued directives by the president to review the list, and shortlist new nominees for the post.

As a federally chartered institute, varsity rules require the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to form a search committee to shortlist applicants and holds interviews to narrow down options to three names, which are then sent to the KIU Senate. The 15-member KIU Senate goes over the list, and after approval, sends it to the president, who is also the chancellor of KIU.

Sources at the presidency have indicated that President Mamnoon Hussain rejected the three names previously provided for the post due to allegations of favouritism by some committee members. He also directed them to provide a new shortlist.

The exercise has thus been repeated by the HEC, resulting in nine names being shortlisted, which have been forwarded to the KIU Senate, a member of the senate told The Express Tribune. A meeting of the body will be held on April 19, he added.

“Hopefully, we will finalise three of the nine names in this meeting and forward it to the President,” said the official.

Although the acting VC refused to comment on the lack of a permanent head, the senate member revealed that development work at the varsity has come to a halt. “With an acting head in place, only day-to-day affairs are being worked on. No long-term plans are being initiated,” he said.

Official records indicate that the search committee received 76 applications for the vacant post of vice chancellor of KIU, out of whom nine names were shortlisted during a meeting held on January 10. After the President’s feedback, the committee further interviewed the nine candidates on January 16 and forwarded the summary to the KIU Senate, which was expected to shortlist three names.

After this list was rejected by the president, another meeting was called in February and nine new names shortlisted.

The forwarded and rejected summary included Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Chairman Dr Iftikhar Ahmad, Dr Asif from Peshawar University, Dr Muhammad Mohmand from the KIU Education Development Department, acting VC Dr Najma Najam and five others.

The search committee formed by the HEC comprises Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Dr Qamar Velani, Batool Qureshi, Dr Nizamuddin, Professor Imtiaz and Professor Manzoor Ali.

Previously, a KIU official divulged that Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah made a complaint against Dr Najam through a letter to former president Asif Ali Zardari on May 29, 2013. This may be the reason that her name was included in the list initially sent to the Senate, but removed from the one forwarded to the president.

Heads of IIUI, QAU, AIOU to be selected soon

Similarly, the search committee formed for the selection of rector for International Islamic University Islamabad and the VCs of Quaid-e-Azam University and Allama Iqbal Open University has finalised the short listing criteria for the candidates. According to HEC Executive Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmad, a meeting is likely to be held in the ongoing week, where names will be shortlisted. “The reason for the delay in the meeting is that two members are abroad, and another is unwell,” he added. However, the heads of these institutions will soon be appointed, he assured.

Express Tribune

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