PESHAWAR: Only PhD degree holders can become vice-chancellors of public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa now as provincial government has made major changes in the relevant law.
Although Higher Education Commission (HEC) had already fixed criteria for appointment of vice-chancellors under which they should be preferably PhD degree holders, yet several persons, who didn’t have PhD degrees, were appointed vice-chancellors in the past.
A legal cover was provided to the HEC criteria with making amendments to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act, 2012.
Sources said that currently three vice-chancellors in the province didn’t have PhD degrees. They include University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar Vice-Chancellor Imtiaz Hussain Galani, Islamia College University Vice-chancellor Ajmal Khan and Gomal University Vice-chancellor Maj Gen Hamid Shafiq, according to sources.
Under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities (Amendment) Act, 2015, which was passed on Friday, PhD degree is mandatory for a person to become a vice-chancellor of any public sector university in the province.
Section 11, sub-section 1 of the law states: “There shall be a vice-chancellor, who shall be a person of eminence having PhD or equivalent qualification with proven ability that has made significant contribution to higher education as teacher, researcher and academic administrator and shall be appointed in such manner as provided in Schedule II.”
Their tenure can be extended only once on the basis of performance
It further states that vice-chancellor of Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, should have MBBS or equivalent medical degree from a foreign university with fellowship in relevant specialisation or PhD in the relevant discipline.
The vice-chancellor of University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar and University of Technology, Nowshera, should have a PhD degree in the field of engineering or technology as the case may be.
Similarly, vice-chancellor of University of Agriculture, Peshawar, should be PhD in a field of agriculture.
With reducing the tenure and its extension once by the government, the amended law would put an end to the years’ long stay of some vice-chancellors in the respective universities.
Section 12 of the law states: “The vice-chancellor shall be appointed for one tenure of three years on such terms and conditions as may be determined by government.” It further states that the tenure of three years may be extended once for another such term on the basis of performance to be evaluated by the government against the key performance indication to be set up by the government.
In the original law, the tenure of a vice-chancellor was four years and there was no restriction on the numbers of extensions in his tenures.
UET Vice-chancellor Imtiaz Gilani got four extensions in his tenure as he has been serving the university for the last 12 years. He was appointed vice-chancellor in 2004 for two years and then he got extension for another two years, sources said, adding that he got third extension of four years. His last and fourth extension would end in January 2016, sources said.
Similarly, the vice-chancellor of Abdul Wali Khan University, Prof Ihsan Ali, also got extension for another four years to be completed in 2017. He had earlier served Hazara University Mansehra as vice-chancellor for four years.
One of the academicians serving in University of Peshawar lauded the provincial government for reducing the tenure of vice-chancellor and allowing only one extension to them. “Now the maximum period of a vice-chancellor in the same university will be six years even if government extends his tenure once while his minimum time will be three years according to the law,” he said.
Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2015