KEMU and UHS: VCs may be picked from one panel
LAHORE, Feb 5: The issue of appointment of regular vice chancellors of the two leading medical universities of the province has taken a ‘new turn’ after the chief minister reportedly finalised the name of Prof Dr Faisal Masood, the Services Hospital principal, for the slot of KEMU VC.
Earlier, Prof Faisal’s name was finalised and recommended in the first week of January in a panel of three contenders for the slot of University of Health Sciences by a search committee tasked with the selection of VCs for the KEMU and UHS.
Headed by former federal minister Sartaj Aziz, the committee had interviewed 41 candidates for the two top slots and recommended two panels of three each shortlisted senior medics. For the post of the UHS vice-chancellor the committee had recommended a panel of three doctors namely Prof Dr Faisal Masood, Allama Iqbal Medical College former principal Prof Dr Javed Akram and former dean of Postgraduate Medical Institute Maj-Gen (retired) Prof Dr Muhammad Aslam. While it had finalised names of Professor of Surgery Dr Abdul Majeed Chaudhry, ex-chief executive of Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Lahore, Prof Dr Jawad Sajid Khan and a UK-based Pakistani national senior doctor, Prof Sarwat Husain for the KEMU slot.
However, the chief minister had returned the summary after raising objection to it and directed to revise it.
A senior official privy to the development told Dawn that the chief minister had objected to the names of two candidates including Prof Abdul Majeed Chaudhry recommended in the panel for KEMU.
He said Prof Majeed had served as Fatima Jinnah Medical College/Sir Ganga Ram Hospital principal and he was among first three candidates who had secured highest marks in an interview conducted by the search committee.
Prof Majeed was said to be a hot contender for the KEMU slot but the CM rejected him on the ‘grounds’ that he was shareholder of a private medical college.
The official said according to the laid down policy, objections by any competent authority like chief minister on the two candidates of a panel meant that it (panel) stood disbanded automatically and the health department was bound to re-advertise the post inviting fresh applications.
However, instead of initiating a fresh process for interview, the health department revised the panels in a hurry on its own.
Interestingly, he said, this time the health authorities had recommended only one panel of six candidates for the vacant posts of the both medical universities, putting name of Prof Faisal Masood at the top for the KEMU slot.
“I think the search committee was not consulted before recommending the panel to the chief minister that might create unrest among the other contenders and legal complications too,” the official said.
He said legal opinion was not sought as well before recommending all three panels to the chief minister.
The official said Maj-Gen (retired) Prof Dr Muhammad Aslam is close to the run for the top slot of UHS.