The universities are considered higher seats of learning that impart not just advanced knowledge but also lofty values to a learner. Pakistani universities, though, are beset by charges of favoritism. One recent example is the Best Teacher Award 2007 that has been given to a person working as controller of examination in the University of Sindh for the last four years. For a controller of examination to be awarded for teaching is shocking. After all, his present assignment itself requires such focused attention that taking the time out for teaching almost seems impossible. To say that he conducted examinations, taught at graduate level and conducted research at the same time, sounds like a joke. The authorities responsible for recommending such names obviously have no other consideration except to oblige their blue-eyed boys. They must be taken to task so that the deserving teachers should get their due. These senseless decisions on the one hand create feelings of deprivation and discouragement in the faculty, which may affect their performance adversely. On the other, they also give out a wrong image of our universities to the academic world. -SHAH NAWAZ SHAH, Tando Adam, via e-mail, August 22.