University of the Punjab PU Lahore set to appoint first ‘third divisioner’ dean
LAHORE - Educationists and Higher Education Commission (HEC) officials have raised alarm over the alleged Punjab Government plan to appoint a ‘third divisioner’ as Dean of Economics and Management Sciences at the historic Punjab University (PU). Criticism fell on PU Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Mujahid Kamran for forwarding Zafer Jadoun’s name as Dean despite knowing he was a ‘third divisioner’.
PU teachers threatened to protest if the appointment was approved and criticized the Punjab CM and PU administration for putting students at risk by appointing an under-qualified dean. They said the appointment of the underqualified qualified professor, also alleged to be a ‘plagiarist’, would be ‘first’ in Punjab’s educational history and be detrimental to the university’s research culture. Earlier, it was the PU administration itself that had protested against Dr Jadoun’s appointment, but it has surprisingly changed stance.
Sources said three names had been forwarded for Dean’s position including Dr Ahsan Malik current PU IBA Director, former PU IAS director Dr Zafer Jadoun and his wife Dr Nasira Jabin who is also Director of IAS department. HEC sources said a number of important departments come under the Dean in question including IAS, IBA, Institute of Business and Information Technology, Department of Economics Library and Information Science. An HEC official questioned the credentials of appointing a ‘third divisioner’ to oversee research at important university departments. He chided Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif for using Danish schools and laptop distribution to create a smokescreen over the real shortcomings in the education sector. He said that the HEC had provided the Economics and Management Sciences faculty funds earlier, but if Dr Jadoun was appointed it would need to re-think the funding.
Dr Zafer Jadoun, who has vast teaching experience, had been rejected as candidate for the position of VC at two universities, including PU and Bahahuddin Zakria University (BZU) Multan due to his degree. Earlier, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah clearly announced in the Punjab Assembly that no ‘third divisoner’ could become the VC or Dean at a public sector university but it came to notice that a lobby inside the CM secretariat is planning to appoint him as PU Dean of Economics and Management Sciences. After the 18th amendment, the Punjab CM has complete authority to appoint VC’s and Deans at public universities. Commenting on the matter, PU Registrar Dr Rass Masood Khan said he had not been aware of the recommendations made since he had recently taken charge but he will take up the matter if one of the recommended candidates was a third divisioner. He said that according to rules three names were sent for the position, not one. No contact was possible with Dr Zafer Jadoun beore the filing of this report despite repeated requests.
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