ISLAMABAD: The International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) is facing several financial and administrative challenges, according to letters written by the university’s rector to its president.

With 30,000 students, IIUI is considered one of the country’s main public sector universities.

Over the last few months, IIUI Rector Dr Masoom Yasinzai has written to the IIUI President Dr Ahmad Yousif A. Al Draiweesh drawing his attention towards issues facing the institution.

In a letter dated July 12, Dr Yasinzai wrote that the financial difficulties facing the university may be partly due to the cut to grand in aid by the government but was “largely because of our own policies”.

“We keep on accepting the demands of students, Officer Welfare Associations and University Staff Welfare Organisation and Academic Staff Association without analysing the immediate and long-term consequences,” he said.

The letter added that reducing the workload of teachers has resulted in the loss of millions to the university, while the housing subsidy is responsible for the loss of Rs400 million.

The letter said nothing was tied to “actual financial matrix and grants received from the government.”

“I look forward to all the steps the university will take to narrow the deficit gap,” the letter added.

“Trying to approve from finance and planning committee the budget with a deficit of Rs1.042 billion clearly shows that there is absolutely no realisation of things and issues,” the letter said.

Mr Yasinzai also told the university’s president that the temporary placement of irrelevant people at key positions would take things to a point of no return, and there was an urgent need to appoint a director finance, director audit and director of the Office of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation, to tackle the situation.

He also said that the IIUI had become a laughing school when it came to promotions and publications.

“We need strict implementation of our statutory body’s decision,” he wrote.

He said the formation of committees with undisclosed or pending reports without any solid decision making creates more unrest and distrust among the larger IIUI community.

“Committees are formed to find facts and put their recommendations to the authorities. All committees reports be finalised to address several issues of academic and administrative nature,” he wrote, and added that his instructions on a variety of issues should be implemented.

Sources said the rector has written at least three letters to the president, including the one quoted above, in the last four months.

Dr Yasinzai could not be reached to comment on the July 12 letter, which is available with Dawn.

IIUI spokesperson Nasir Farid said it is routine for the rector and president to write to each other in the greater interest of the university.

“Although I have no idea about the letter in question, it is a routine practice in universities that important offices do inform each other through letters,” he said.

IIUI’s foundation was laid down on Nov 11, 1980, in pursuance of an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation resolution. It was envisaged that a board of trustees would create a trust with sufficient endowment in Pakistan and abroad in collaboration with international Islamic organisations for the provision of financial backing and stability for the university.

University officials said the objectives of the trust were to provide financial support to the university and create an endowment to meet recurring and development expenditure by encouraging and receiving donations, grants, bequests, gifts and contributions.

IIUI sources said the fund was not developed. They said it was agreed at the meeting of the OIC that members would contribute to create an endowment fund but, except for $1 million from the United Arab Emirates, no one did so. Some donations have been received from charitable organisations and the Islamic Development Bank.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2019