PESHAWAR: On the directives of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, the Higher Education Department (HED), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has started the process to give extension to the vice-chancellor of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University (SBBWU), Peshawar, in violation of the set criteria, according to sources.
The four-year tenure of SBBWU VC Razia Sultana ended on April 6, which prompted HED to advertise the post, but afterwards in an unusual step it moved a summary to the relevant quarters to give her extension, they said.
The HED had notified Razia Sulatana’s appointment as VC on April 7, 2014, for a period of four years. There is a provision in the law to give extension to a VC of any public sector university, which is linked to key performance indicators, the sources said.
Mushtaq Ghani terms performance of Razia Sultana excellent
A proviso to section 12 (6) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act 2013 states: “Provided that the tenure of three years may be extended once for another such term on the basis of performance to be evaluated by government against the key performance indicators to be set up by government.”
They said that the proviso was incorporated into the KP Universities Act in 2016, but despite the lapse of around two years HED had failed to frame the key performance indicators. They said that the law had empowered HED to frame the performance indicators for the evaluation of VC after completing the tenure. They added that the indicators would help HED in making a decision whether the VC should be given extension or not.
They asked that how extension could be given to a VC when HED had not yet fulfilled the basic requirement of finalizing the performance indicators. They also questioned advertising the vacant post of SBBWU VC if the higher education department was interested in giving extension to the incumbent VC.
For awarding extension to VC Razia Sultana, HED has forwarded a summary to Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, who is chancellor of the public sector universities in the province. The summary would first go to the office of the chief secretary and then forwarded to the chief minister and governor’s offices, the sources said.
When contacted, Provincial Minister for Higher Education Department Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani told Dawn that it had been observed that the performance of the incumbent VC was excellent.
“We have seen that a lot of MoUs have been signed during her tenure,” he said while justifying the decision to give her extension. Under her administration, Mr Ghani said, the university’s performance had improved a lot.
Before her arrival, the university was facing stagnation, the minister said, adding that she had put the institution on the track of development.
Asked why HED wanted to give her extension, the minister said: “It is difficult to find any other female academician in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who matches the qualifications of Razia Sultana.”
The summary has been sent to the chief minister, he said, adding that now it was his authority to give extension to her or not. Asked how extension could be given when HED has not framed key performance indicators, the minister said that it showed inefficiency of the department and negligence of then secretary of HED.