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LAHORE: Some public sector universities in Punjab are not complying with the instructions of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) regarding removing teachers serving under the Tenure Track System (TTS) from administrative posts.

At least 12 TTS teachers of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET), four of the Punjab University (PU) and one of the Government College University Lahore (GCU) are holding the administrative offices.

The varsities have expressed their inability to follow the HEC directive, citing ‘internal reasons’.

The prime purpose of introducing TTS was to promote research and impart quality education to students in varsities.

The HEC has noted: “The government is giving huge amount of incentives to engage faculty members in research in their respective fields and if they involve themselves in other activities the same purpose will be lost, therefore, the varsities need to strictly follow these instructions in true letter and spirit.”

In its April 12, 2016, letter to the public universities the HEC said: “It has been noted that some faculty members on tenure track without completing their probation period start working on such positions. Moreover, some faculty members on tenure track assume the administrative posts such as registrar, director human resource, treasurer and controller examination openly or under the cover of ‘acting’, ‘look after’ or ‘additional charge.”

The HEC has made it clear that if a faculty member assumes an administrative post in the university such as registrar, director HR or treasurer etc then the period for which he/she remains on that post shall not be counted towards his/her TTS service during that period he/she will not be eligible to draw TTS salary.

“After June 30, 2014, if a faculty member on TTS assumed responsibility of academic administrative position of director research, dean of a faculty or head of a department, the period of holding such appointment shall not be counted towards his/her TTS probation period and not eligible to draw TTS salary,” the HEC said.

A UET spokesman told Dawn that the administrative posts were given to the TTS teachers in the light of ‘first directive’ of the HEC. “After the fresh HEC directive the UET administration has forwarded the matter to the chancellor/governor for a decision,” he said.

A PU spokesman said: “The TTS teachers have been appointed (administrative posts) following the calendar/statutes of the university.”

GCU Academic Staff Association President Prof Dr Raiz Ahmed said the TTS statutes had differentiated between ‘administrative’ and academic administrative’ positions that needed to be dealt separately.

“Since the introduction of TTS statutes in 2005, faculty members either on tenure track or tenured are prohibited to assume responsibilities on any administrative position overtly or under the cover of ‘acting or look-after’ charge. The matter of ‘academic administrative positions’ is altogether different. The Clause 1.1(d) of TTS statutes reads as a faculty member on tenure track may be appointed to any academic administrative post such as director research, chairman, dean, etc. However, in 2008 a clarification was added as Annexure A that after June 30, 2014, only tenured faculty will be eligible for such appointments,” he said.

Prof Raiz further said the HEC, applying the condition in 2008, itself had relaxed it for six years because it was not implementable at all then. The HEC needs to relax this condition to at least till June 2020 so that it becomes implementable,” he proposed.

However, most of the TTS teachers want implementation of the HEC directive, saying the TTS faculty needs to focus on “research and academic affairs.”

The TTS teachers having administrative posts in UET are; Campus coordinator (Kalashah Kaku) Dr Zafar Lone, Faculty of Architecture Engineering Dean Dr Ghulam Abbas, Mechanical Engineering Dean Dr Nadeem Ahmed Mufti, Civil Engineering Dean Dr

Abdusattar Shakir, Chemical Egineering Dean Dr Nadeem Feroz, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Chairman Dr Pervaiz Mughal, Met Engineering Chairman Dr Liaquat Kasuri, Civil Engineering Chairman Dr Zahid Saddiqui, Planning and Development Director Dr Ashiq Kheral, focal person HEC Dr Akhlaq Ahmed and Computer Sciences Chairman Dr Muhammad Ali.

PU TTS teachers area Prof Dr Kanwal Amin, Department of Library and Information Sciences Chairperson, Prof Dr Muhammad Shahid Siddiqui, Department of Mathematics Chairman, Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar, Director Centre for Clinical Psychology and Prof Dr Javed Iqbal Qazi, Chairman of Department of Zoology and GCU’s Assistant Prof Dr Akhyar Farrukh, who has been given the office of registrar.

Published in Dawn, May 17th, 2016