LAHORE:16 December: A cabinet committee has been formed for the appointment of vice chancellors at eight public sector universities of the province. The committee, formed on the orders of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, has been notified by the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED). According to the notification issued by the HED, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, the committee will look over the appointment process and deliberate over issues relating to public sector universities of the province. A total of seven members were appointed to the committee. Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani is the convener of the committee, while the chief secretary of the province is the co-convener. Other members of the cabinet committee include law and parliamentary affairs department secretary, planning and development department Secretary, Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) Chairperson Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin and the HED Secretary, who will also function as the secretary of the committee. Steel Town Cadet College celebrates 28th Parents’ Day “The Chief Minister Punjab was pleased to constitute a Cabinet Committee for the appointment of Vice Chancellors of Public Sector Universities in Punjab and allied issues related to the Public Sector Universities,” the notification said, The eight public sector universities where vice chancellors are to be appointed included Punjab University, Women University, Multan, Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan, University of Home Economics, Lahore, University of Sahiwal, University of Jhang, University of Okara and Information Technology University (ITU). Earlier, the HED had sent the names of search committee members – who would scrutinise potential candidates for the vice chancellors slot – for approval to the Chief Minister. The names, 12 for each university, were proposed by the PHEC and after the approval a three to five member search committee panel would be formed. The search committees would vet the candidates after the provincial government floats advertisements for the vacant positions in each university. The Punjab government had also revised the criteria for vice chancellors. To this effect, the HED issued the new criteria for VCs and a notification was subsequently issued for each varsity. According to the new criteria, a PhD was not necessary for the potential candidate; however, it was preferred and carried additional points. K-P tops in district education rankings The new criteria also gave the search committee the powers to nominate a candidate for the vice chancellor. The previous practice was forwarding three names to the chief minister, who interviewed and selected a vice chancellor for a public university. Other requirements, as per the new rules of the HED, include experience in a senior academic research or management leadership position and working in a well-reputed international organisation/academic institution (teaching/research /management) at a relatively senior position. Furthermore, the potential candidate should be able to demonstrate the capacity for mobilisation of financial resources from national/international agencies and show documented experience of establishing new organisations or restructuring existing ones. The provincial government is yet to advertise the vacant positions and academics, especially for the Punjab University. Academics are demanding that the CM appoint a permanent head of the institute as the delays were causing administrative problems for the varsity.Published in The Express Tribune, December 16th, 2017.