ISLAMABAD-The COMSATS University Islamabad faculty members on Tuesday boycotted the scheduled examination at campus to protest non-implementation of its demand of regularisation.

The faculty members’ protest led to postponement of exams in six out of seven campuses of the university across the country. The faculty at Abbottabad campus while joining the protest also boycotted the classes.

Later on, the university administration announced closure of CUI, Islamabad campus till Friday (June 21, 2019).

In a notice, the administration said that the COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Islamabad campus will remain closed from June 19 to 21 2019, however, the CUI principal seat will remain open.

The COMSATS faculty members and administration are at loggerheads for years as the earlier demanded regularisation of jobs, which has been denied by the latter. The CUI administration is also headed by ad-hoc set-up as the ministry of Science and Technology has failed to appoint a permanent rector.

The officials said that around 2,000 faculty members are serving in the CUI currently and out of which nearly 600 are working on contract basis at Islamabad campus.

They said that the faculty members have also called for stepping down of Acting Rector CUI, Prof. Dr Raheel Qamar from his position forthwith as he has failed to address issues of faculty members.

They also added that a large number of faculty members despite serving the university for decades have no job security and could be served with termination notice of their contracts at any stage of service.

They also said that the Academic Staff Association (ASA) CUI and the administration held several rounds of talks to avoid exam boycott but all efforts remained in vain and faculty members continued their protest.

According to the circular issued by the university available with The Nation, it said that in reference is made to the meeting held on June 13, 2019 at COMSATS University Islamabad Campus between faculty members led by Professor Mahnaz Qadeer Haseeb and Deans of Faculties chaired by the Rector CUI.

All issues raised by faculty representatives were discussed at length and consensus was reached to resolve all issues on priority basis. However, as the implementation of the decisions made during the meeting involves offices outside CUI. It was agreed that contact with the concerned offices will be made at the earliest.

In the meanwhile, all academic activities shall continue as per schedule and any hindrance shall be dealt with in accordance with the rules.

Later the administration issued another circular and said that in continuation of registrar secretariat’s circular dated June 14, 2019, it is to inform all concerned that final exams Spring semester 2019 and other academic activities at CUI campuses will take place as per schedule notified by the respective campuses.

Meanwhile, President Academic Staff Association (ASA) Dr Mahnaz Qadeer Haseeb responded to Rector CUI Prof. Dr Raheel Qamar that the meeting was held between Central ASA-CUI headed by its president and the reactor. According to circular there was consensus between the two parties on all issues. However, despite agreement on all issues raised by ASA-CUI, there was no concrete resolution on the table.

It said that ASA-CUI has already announced on June 12, 2019 to go for a peaceful protest in all campuses of CUI w.e.. June 1, 2019 till meeting of all legitimate demands of ASA-CUI (conveyed to your good self via email on May 2019.

ASA-CUI rejects any such circular issued that is based on biased contents and demands its immediate withdrawal.

Later on, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain while taking notice of the tussle between CUI faculty and administration formed a committee to resolve the matter.

The minister in the meeting with protesting faculty also said that it was not possible to regularise all faculty members in a single order, however he formed the committee under secretary science and technology and directed to submit the report within 24 hours.