University of Okara: Interviews for appointment of VC start today

LAHORE: Interviews for the position of a vice chancellor at the University of Okara will begin on Monday (today), while the second round will be held on Tuesday.

Shortlisted candidates have been asked to appear for the interview by the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED).

A total of 161 candidates applied for the position at the University of Okara. The varsity has attracted the most number of applicants out of all the universities which have advertised for the post of a vice chancellor. Out of the total, 43 were shortlisted after scrutiny by the Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC).

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An official, requesting anonymity, said the search committee would start interviewing candidates on Monday. “Due to the large number of shortlisted candidates, the interviews will be conducted on Tuesday as well.” He said that a total of 25 candidates would be interviewed first and the remaining 18 would appear on the second day.

The search committee for the University of Okara consists of Akhuwat Foundation Executive Director Dr Amjad Saqib as the convener. Members included Punjab Information Technology Board Chairperson Dr Umar Saif, Kinnaird College former principal Dr Mira Phailbus and PHEC Chairperson Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin. The HED secretary would also serve as the secretary of the committee.

The interviews were delayed due to changes made in the Punjab bureaucracy after the interim government took charge. HED secretary Nabeel Awan was replaced by Punjab Small Industries Managing Director Khalid Saleem.

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Earlier in the month, interviews were held for the University of Sahiwal in which 27 candidates were shortlisted out of the total 101 which appeared. The interviews were held by the search committee for the varsity which included Dr Umar Saif as convener. Members were Lahore Grammar School Director Nighat Yawar Ali, University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore former vice chancellor Muhammad Akram Khan and Government College University (GCU) Lahore Political Science Department Chairperson Dr Khalid Manzoor Butt. At the time, the then HED secretary Nabeel Awan served as the secretary for the committee as well.

After the University of Okara, HED will hold interviews for the University of Home Economics and Women University Multan.

The HED is looking to appoint vice chancellors at the Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Lahore; Women University Multan; Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan; University of Okara; University of Sahiwal; University of Home Economics, Lahore; University of Jhang; University of Sahiwal and Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore.

Apart from the universities in queue for a permanent vice chancellor, the newly-established Punjab Tianjin University of Technology (PTUT) and University of Narowal are working under acting vice chancellors. For PTUT, GCU Vice Chancellor Dr Hasan Amir Shah has acting charge, whereas UET Lahore VC Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid is running PTUT. Both GCU and UET vice chancellors will retire in mid-2019 and end of 2018, respectively. Another vice chancellor approaching the end of his tenure in Punjab is Dr Qaiser Mushtaq of the Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB) as his four-year term is set to end on December 2018.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2018.

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