GUJRAT - Tributes poured in for the outgoing vice chancellor of University of Gujrat (UoG) Prof Dr Ziaul Qayyum at a farewell ceremony held at Hafiz Hayat Campus the other day. With the Registrar Dr Tahir Aqil in the chair, the ceremony was attended by faculty deans, chairpersons and HoDs of various departments, other senior academics and administration officials, members of the civil society, local journalists and top academicians from other higher education institutions of the country.

Dr Zia, who has completed his four-year term as UoG vice chancellor, has been appointed vice chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) which has the largest countrywide network with 44 regional offices and an approximate enrolment of 1.5 million students. "We'll always be feeling proud to have worked with Dr Ziaul Qayyum. He is a seasoned academician and possesses all qualities of a true leader. His valuable services in helping the UoG carve out a niche for itself in terms of academic excellence and research and development will always be remembered," Dr Tahir Aqil said in his address on the occasion.

Dean Sciences Prof Dr Muhammad Faheem Malik highlighting the UoG progress and achievements during the last 10 years said, "Thanks to Allah the Almighty we are a few points away from making it to the top 500 universities of the world." Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Gujrat Dr Tariq Saleem paid a glowing tribute to Dr Zia for his services as vice chancellor. He described Dr Zia as "a man with great interpersonal qualities, very sociable and approachable."

"The role of some personalities is so deeply ingrained on institutions that they can't but complement each other. Dr Ziaul Qayyum is a true face of the University of Gujrat. He is a role model and a genuine source of enlightenment for the younger generation," Director Media Sheikh Abdul Rashid, who moderated the ceremony, said.

Dr Ziaul Qayyum in his address thanked all the participants. He said that he was always at pains to serve and strengthen the cause of the institution, never letting his focus drift away from the all-important student-centric goal while making the policies or taking the new initiatives and decisions as vice chancellor of the university.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Dean Dr Fauzia Maqsood, Director SSC Muhammad Yaqoob, Chairperson Geography department Dr Mushahid Anwar, Chairperson Economics department Dr Faisal Mirza, President Gujrat Press Club Raja Taimor Tariq, and noted businessman Amjad Farooq.