LAHORE, Dec 14: In a rare move, the Lahore College for Women University vice chancellor has clipped the registrar’s wings three months after her appointment through a search committee.
LCWU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Sabiha Mansoor has withdrawn all administrative as well as other powers delegated to Registrar Prof Dr Sylvia E. Benjamin with immediate effect “to promote the general efficiency and good order of the university and faithful observance of laws.”
Adding insult to injury, the vice chancellor has also directed all deputy and assistant registrars and other administrative staff (of Registrar office) to report directly to the VC.
Sources claimed that the vice chancellor had taken this drastic decision because she was unhappy over the registrar’s objections to the contract appointments being made on a “wholesale basis”, including faculty members’ appointments in the middle of semesters.
The notification issued on Friday with the signatures of the vice chancellor says, “In order to promote the general efficiency and good order of the university and faithful observance of laws, the competent authority in exercise of powers vested in this regard, is pleased to order that all administrative powers, matters relating to staff both faculty and administrative BPS-17 and above, all other powers delegated to Registrar Prof Dr Sylvia E. Benjamin are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect.”
It also says, “All deputy registrars and other administrative staff of Registrar office are directed to report directly to the vice chancellor.
“Mrs Uzma Batool, deputy registrar, has been assigned the duties to deal with matters relating to staff — both faculty and administrative BPS-17 — and directly report to the vice chancellor.”
The sources said the notification was a clear indication that the VCs of public universities wanted that there should be no dissenting voice. They said the Punjab government had taken a good decision of amending the Universities’ Acts and bringing the VCs under scrutiny.
Prof Benjamin said the vice chancellor was signing contract appointments almost on a daily basis and even during the middle of semesters. “My relations with the VC went sour soon after I asked her to show restraint in offering contract appointments,” she claimed.
Citing an example, a source in the university claimed that the VC appointed a couple who had returned from abroad. Mr Ali Rizvi was appointed Director Administration and his wife, having 16 years of qualification, was hired as assistant professor of education. Mr Rizvi was offered a package of Rs150,000 a month.
VC Prof Mansoor said she had only withdrawn “any other responsibilities and duties assigned by the vice chancellor” and nothing else. She said the registrar’s powers given in the statutes had not been touched.
“I have issued the notification after seeking advice from the chief minister and governor’s offices,” she added.
Stating that one person cannot perform all duties, the VC said the deputy registrar had to do their duties. “I asked the registrar to assign a deputy registrar to sit in the scholarship committee meeting but she insisted that she would herself attend the meeting,” she pointed out.
In these circumstances, Prof Mansoor said, she was facing difficulty in running the university affairs. She said she had been receiving calls from the Chief Minister House and Governor’s House on a daily basis for the resolution of the employees’ problems.
She said many faculty members’ salaries were stopped because the registrar was not signing their cases.
As for the couple’s appointment, the VC said the Syndicate had approved that the Director Administration could be given a maximum salary of Rs150,000 a month. She said the post had also been advertised and appointment would soon be made on a regular basis.
She said Mr Rizvi’s wife, Sajeela, had 18 years of qualification including one-year each specialised postgraduate diplomas as well as 12 years teaching experience at the Ali Institute of Education.