University of Sargodha VC hits back at FAPUASA

LAHORE:03 June: University of Sargodha (UoS) Vice Chancellor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad has fired back at accusations leveled against him by representatives of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA). Talking to The Express Tribune, Dr Ahmad termed allegations of him targeting faculty members as baseless. He explained that any action taken against a member of the faculty was conducted by the relevant authority, which happens to be the syndicate of the varsity. Taking about the allegations against him, Ahmad said that those under inquiry used FAPUASA to defame the university. “If you want to reform a university, you have to take bold decisions. Change upsets the status quo and certain forces, which had a stake in the matter, created a ruckus against me as we gradually started the reformation process.” He termed the ‘stake’ as the quantity-based expansion of the university with the creation of private campuses. In 2012, he said the varsity had the highest number of private colleges in the province. “Due of this, the quality of education suffered. Some of those behind the expansion were part of the previous administration over here,” he said. University of Sargodha cancels affiliation of 71 colleges Inquires against those who were identified as involved were initiated by the Syndicate under the PEEDA Act. “These inquiries were not started by me, but the decision was taken by the Syndicate of the university. A dean, who was making unlawful appointments and was responsible for corruption at hostels, was also identified.” Earlier, members of FAPUASA held a press conference and met the governor to complain against the VC. They accused Ahmad of discriminating against the faculty and a dean, who they claimed was suspended for availing casual leaves. Dr Ahmad said corruption was unearthed during an audit of hostels and after two separate complaints. Based on this, an inquiry was unanimously initiated by the syndicate. The body ordered a probe under the PEEDA Act. The accused dean went to court against the body formed to probe his alleged corruption. The court stayed the probe after a media campaign was initiated. He said all cases had been dealt with according to the rules. Criticising FAPUASA, the VC said the association was targeting him. He added that a vice chancellor did not have the powers to start probes or initiate action. Ahmad stressed that was the responsibility of the syndicate which carried out the investigation under the rules. He continued that the university was defending all the decisions on various forums. The VC pointed out that there was no academic staff association (ASA) at UoS and therefore no member was part of FAPUASA. “They have no stake at the university. I am trying to change things and this is upsetting forced favouring the status quo”.Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2018.

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