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PU teachers say VC should be one of them

LAHORE, April 25(Daily Times): The Punjab University Academic Staff Association's (PUASA) general body unanimously passed a resolution in its meeting held on Tuesday demanding that the university's vice chancellor be appointed from among senior teachers and not retired army generals.

Senior PU professors who attended the meeting said that the participants of the meeting also expressed solidarity with the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP). They said the meeting formed a committee that would invite the CJP to address the PU faculty. Some senior professors said that in the meeting, a large number of teachers expressed concern over the varsity's "deteriorating standards". They said the teachers also criticised the government for the prevailing judicial crisis and expressed solidarity with CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

A professor said that the PU faculty had been against the VC for a long time since he was not one of them. He said the teachers of the university had observed a month-long strike when Lt Gen (r) Arshad Mehmood was appointed as vice chancellor of the Punjab University in 1999.

Professors said the meeting criticised the PU administration for withdrawing the summary regarding upgrading of teaching posts. They said the teachers demanded that the decisions of the PU Syndicate and the Senate on the issue be implemented.

PUASA president Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Salik said the association had been demanding for a long time that the VC should be a senior faculty member and not a retired army general. However, he said, this was the first time that a unanimous resolution to this effect was passed in the PUASA general body meeting.

Salik said the CJP would be invited to address the PU faculty at the Faisal Auditorium. He said a ten-days notice was given to the administration regarding upgrading of the varsity's teaching posts. He said all universities had upgraded their teachers except PU. He said if the teaching posts were not upgraded within ten days, another general body meeting of the association would be called to chalk out a course of action to tackle the situation.

Salik added that the general body also criticised the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for withholding PU grants over the plagiarism issue. He said the teachers observed that the commission was threatening and blackmailing the university. They said the HEC was also challenging the autonomy of universities. He said a resolution was also passed demanding the release of PU funds. However, some senior professors said the meeting had not voiced a unanimous criticism of the HEC. They said some teachers had even criticised the PUASA for not being active in solving the teachers' problems
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