PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has notified the appointment of Prof Razia Sultana as the regular vice-chancellor of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University (SBBWU), Peshawar.

The appointment came after a delay of two years.

The Academic Search Committee headed by noted scientist Dr Attaur Rehman had recommended to the government a panel of three candidates in Nov 2018 with Prof Razia Sultana on top followed by Dr Gazala Yasmin and Dr Noor Jehan.

“In exercise of the powers conferred under Section-12(1) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act 2012, the Governor, KP/Chancellor SBBWU Peshawar has been pleased to appoint Prof Razia Sultana as VC with effect from 15 March 2019 for a period of three years,” read the notification.

Govt notifies appointment after a delay of two years

The four-year tenure of the regular vice-chancellor, Prof Razia, had expired on April 6, 2018. After retirement, the provincial government allowed her to continue serving in the office on acting basis until the appointment of the regular VC.

On the search committee’s recommendation, the higher education department forwarded the summary to the chief minister for appointment of anyone from the panel as vice-chancellor for a period of three years.

In a summary, the chief minister recommended to the chancellor the appointment of Prof Razia Sultana as the SBBWU vice-chancellor.

However, the summary shuttled among several departments for two years after it reached the Governor’s Secretariat. The governor formally wrote on it that the tenure Prof Razia had served as the acting vice-chancellor during the appointment process of a regular one should be considered in her three-year tenure.

The official documents reveal that if her tenure as the acting VC prior to her recommendation as the regular one by the search committee was also considered, she would be allowed to work as the regular VC for few months instead of three years.

During official correspondence, the higher education department favoured the appointment of Prof Razia from March 15, 2019, when VCs of other universities in the province were appointed under the same process.

The issue was later discussed by the cabinet, which formed a high-level committee of ministers and secretaries to examine all aspects of the appointment and put up recommendations to it.

The committee agreed to the higher education department’s stand that Prof Razia’s tenure should start from March 15, 2019.

The notification also read that the governor also regularised the intervening period of Prof Razia from April 12, 2018, until regular appointment.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2021

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