VC crisis likely to deepen in universities

Ershad Kamol | Published: 23:37, Jan 27,2021

 
 

Patuakhali Science and Technology University has been running without vicechancellor, provicechancellor and treasurer since January 5 while the tenures of Khulna University and Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University vice-chancellors will end today and on January 31 respectively.

Education ministry officials said that the tenure of vice-chancellors of nine public universities, namely Rajshahi University, National University, Jagannath University, Bangladesh Open University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, the Jessore University of Science and Technology, Begum Rokeya University Rangpur and Rabindra University will end within five months.

Over 30 private universities have no VCs for months, said the officers adding that 25 out of 46 public universities have no pro-vice-chancellors since the beginning of their operations while 87 out of 98 private universities in operation have no pro-VCs for years.

‘We have started a process for appointing vicechancellors at the public universities,’ said education ministry’s additional secretary AKM Aftab Hossain Pramanik.

‘We will consider the lists of senior professors that the universities have sent to us last year,’ he said adding that the ministry has already assigned Aftab Hossian, a dean, to lead the academic and administrative activities of Patuakhali university until the appointment of a new VC.

He said that most of the private universities had submitted their recommendations.

Many incumbents had been lobbying with the government high-ups, influential political leaders and bureaucrats to hold onto their posts since VCs, proVCs and treasurers were appointed through administrative orders, said education ministry and University Grants Commission officers.

Among 50 public university acts only Dhaka University, Chittagong University, Rajshahi University and Jahangirnagar University acts have specific rules for appointing VCs.

They said that ruling parties usually recommend names to the president, who is the chancellor of the universities, for appointing VCs of their choices to control over the public universities.

‘All the public universities should have specific rules for appointing VCs, proVCs and treasures and guidelines must strictly be followed,’ said UGC member Muhammad Alamgir.

‘The process of appointing VCs should start six months before the end of the tenure of existing VCs so that outgoing VCs can handover responsibilities to their successors smoothly,’ he added.    

He also said that some VCs, who got appointments through administrative orders, were involved with various corruptions and irregularities and the commission had already submitted inquiry reports against irregularities of the Rajshahi University VC Abdus Sobhan, pro-VC Md Zakaria and acting registrar Abdul Bari in December to the education ministry.

‘But, no action was taken against the VC and proVC,’ he said adding that the UGC is conducting another investigation against alleged corruption of the Khulna Agricultural University VC Shahidur Rahman Khan.

Sobhan and Shahidur could not be contacted for comments.

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