Wednesday February 21, 2024

Two transfers at PU raise concerns among faculty members

By Our Correspondent
February 05, 2024

LAHORE : Two recent transfers at the Punjab University (PU) have raised concerns among the university faculty members.

Punjab University in Lahore. — APP File
Punjab University in Lahore. — APP File

They also believe these changes go against the rules set by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) especially with the general elections coming up on February 8, 2024.

It is pertinent to mention that PU Registrar, on a directive of the Acting VC Dr Khalid Mehmood issued two separate notifications regarding two transfers without any consultation with the relevant department, the Department of Journalism Studies.

‘The Vice Chancellor, in exercise of the powers vested in him under Section 15(4)(vi) of the University of the Punjab Act 1973, is pleased to transfer Dr Muhammad Rashid Khan, an Associate Professor, from the Department of Film & Broadcasting to the Department of Journalism with immediate effect,’ reads a notification issued on January 26, 2024. In another notification, issued the same day, the Registrar office transferred Prof Dr Mian Hanan Ahmad from the School of Communication Studies to the Department of Journalism with immediate effect. Reacting over these transfers, Chairperson of Department of Journalism Studies Prof Dr Bushra H Rehman wrote a letter to Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dr Khalid Mahmood, who is also the Acting VC as well as the Dean of the Faculty, and expressed serious reservations. In the letter, a copy available with The News, she termed these transfers ‘parachute transfers’ done without consulting her and without determining suitability. She requested the Acting VC to withdraw these orders for the smooth functioning of the department, and to avoid intra-department seniority issues. Dr Bushra pointed out that these transfer orders were issued without consulting the relevant heads of the departments, including herself, as this practice contravene the established practices of the university as well as the School of Communication Studies. ‘Such a deviation from the norms is likely to sow discord and create chaos within the six departments of the school, adversely impacting the efficiency of everyone involved,’ she wrote.

Meanwhile, another faculty member Dr Shabbir Sarwar and a lawyer have also challenged the transfer orders at ECP Punjab office.

By issuing transfer orders, the Registrar Office of the Punjab University in Lahore had violated directives of the ECP due to the general elections, to be held on February 8, 2024, they alleged. The News could not reach PU Acting VC Dr Khalid Mahmood for comments. However, a senior PU official said that the Acting VC had the authority to issue transfer orders without consulting heads of the departments. He claimed that there was no ban on transfers within the university from ECP.