Reappointment of DU VC raises unpleasant questions
THE manner in which Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique got reappointed as Dhaka University vice-chancellor for four more years seem to have raised a few eyebrows. According to a New Age report on Monday, the university senate elected Arefin and two others unopposed to a panel for appointment as vice-chancellor by the president at a special session of the senate on Saturday amid protests by a number of teachers and students. In the first place, Arefin has been elected by a senate, of which 55 posts of members, out of 105, are currently vacant. Moreover, the election took place in presence of only 36 senate members, the lowest in a decade. Also, the protesting teachers allege that the VC panel election was held in haste just to prevent the 25 registered graduate representatives to the senate, due to be elected on August 31 and September 14, from taking part in the process.
Notably, Arefin, who was temporarily appointed vice-chancellor in January 2009, has already completed a four-year term, a case unprecedented in the history of the university, particularly since the 1973 order took effect, without taking any steps to hold the VC panel election. Besides, even after the High Court, in response to a petition filed by some teachers tied to his own camp, issued a rule in May last year asking the university authorities to explain in two weeks why they should not be directed to call a senate session for holding the VC panel election, he did not take any step towards holding the election citing ‘lack of congenial atmosphere’.
It need not be overemphasised that Dhaka University, like all other institutions, involved in not only disseminating knowledge but also creating knowledge, needs freedom while conducting activities, academic and administrative. Additionally, compliance with the 1973 act to the letter and in spirit is the key to ensuring such an environment. Needless to say, by being appointed through questionable means to Arefin may have undermined the spirit of the act, the consequence of which in the long run could be detrimental to the interest of the university.
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THE manner in which Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique got reappointed... Full story
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