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March 5, 2021

KU faculty members voice concerns over procedure for appointments & promotions

Karachi

March 5, 2021

Some faculty members of Karachi University have raised concerns over the alleged irregularities in the scrutiny process for positions of professorship and appointments of chairmen at departments.

They accused the varsity administration of nepotism and said some blue-eyed faculty members had been appointed to important positions while those who had fulfilled the same criteria had been ignored by the top management.

Rejecting the accusations, KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Iraqi said on Thursday all appointments were made as per rules and after the approval of the relevant decision-making bodies.

He said advertisements for promotions and appointments had been published by the former VC, but some faculty members held him responsible for making such decisions. The Department of Zoology’s Assistant Prof Dr Sumera Farooq, while submitting an application on June 1, 2020, had demanded justice in the scrutiny process for the position of associate professor, and also called for an investigation of the alleged irregularities observed in the scrutiny procedure.

She complained that the case of her senior colleague, Dr Solaha, for the post of zoology professor was placed in the selection board meeting on Thursday. “My dossier was still not sent to referees. It will be a clear injustice if both the faculty members are not treated at par. Therefore, I request you to take immediate action to provide justice in my case and hope that you will also place my reports in the meeting along with the reports of Dr Solaha,” Dr Sumera wrote in the application.

Dr Sumera in a separate application has written that neither any information had been communicated to her on the progress of the case, nor had any corrective measures been taken in this regard.

“In 2019, I was declared eligible for the post of associate professor, but in the selection board meeting held on May 3, 2019, I and Dr Solaha were declared ineligible. Now, it has been learnt that the dossier of Dr Solaha was sent directly to the referees in violation of the rules and regulations without observing the prescribed procedure, neglecting the chairperson of the zoology department and the Dean Faculty of Science,” reads the application she has written to the KU VC.

“If Dr Solaha’s ineligibility was condoned, why can my candidature not be considered for the post of the associate professor?” she wrote. Also, another influential faculty member, who is a close relative of a former VC of the varsity, has been appointed chairman of the Karachi University Business School (KUBS).

The KU administration also intends to promote him as a professor against the rules set by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. One of the faculty members appointed at the KUBS said the present chairman had produced 150 research papers from 2015 to 2020. It means that he was producing more than three papers every month. Despite investigating the case, the varsity administration assigned him an important position.

VC’s stance

However, Vice-Chancellor Prof Iraqi, commenting on these issues, said Dr Sumera has levelled false allegations against the KU administration.

All decisions are made as per the set criteria, after the approval of the relevant decision-making bodies such as the syndicate and the selection board, he added.

He said that the case of Dr Sumera was also placed before the selection board meeting held on Thursday. However, the members found that she was not eligible for the position of associate professor because her publications were fewer than the number mentioned in the advertisement back then.

Prof Iraqi said that if Dr Sumera still believes that she has been discriminated against, she should raise the issue on the forum of the syndicate. “I’m not the only person at the varsity who makes all decisions. I can neither give favour to somebody nor discriminate against them. As subordinates, every employee of the varsity is respected and is equal to me.”

He further said that he made no fresh appointment at the varsity while all promotions cases had been advertised by the former VC. The decision of appointing the KUBS chairman was made by the syndicate six months ago, but a group of faculty members were spreading false information against the varsity and its management, he added.