ISLAMABAD - The COMSATS faculty members’ body on Saturday approached the president and requested him to appoint a permanent head of the university on merit urging that the acting set-up is damaging the institution’s reputation.

The President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alivi is also chancellor of the COMSATS University. The COMSATS was upgraded from the degree awarding institute to the university this year, but is still being run on ad-hoc basis without permanent appointments on key administrative posts. 

The letter written by COMSATS Academic Staff Council (ASC) Prof. Dr. Mehnaz Haseeb stated that the faculty is under constant pressure because of the prolonged acting setup where the Rector, the Registrar, the Campus Directors and many other higher officials are serving on interim/ acting basis.

In the letter, the teachers’ body requested the president to direct the process of appointment on all key posts through an open-merit and competitive process according to CUI Act.  It also demanded to restrict the current interim administration to execute day-to-day affairs of CUI as per directions of the respected Supreme Court, until a permanent setup is in place.

ASC requested for a thorough administrative, forensic, technical and financial audit of the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology so that the COMSATS University Islamabad may not suffer due to the long standing issues.

The faculty deems that many crucial decisions such as: termination from the services, gridlock on Central Provident Fund (CPF) and Benevolent Funds, issuance of short-term contracts to employees, salary blockages, conducting an unlawful meeting of Syndicate by the acting setup without elected faculty representation and changes in the terms of employees’ service (ToRs) is beyond the power and domain of interim/ acting administration (Ref. CPF and BF Clauses, 35(3) and 36(2) of the act), said the letter.

The letter said that this ad-hoc-ism is leading to serious damages to the institution and its reputation, whereas, regretful state of affairs is being executed by interim CUI admin since long time. “Unfortunately, since the passage of the Act of CUI in April 2018, no concrete step has been taken towards the completion of governing forums and the transition from CIIT to CUI is yet a dream,” letter said.

Apparently, the hurdle in the path of functioning of the governing forums is the appointment of the members of the University Senate including the elected faculty representation- a basic requirement, it said.

The letter said that despite conveying these concerns to Minister for Science & Technology, Executive Director (ED) COMSATS and Rector CUI, the formation and functioning of the forums is unnecessarily being delayed which has created unrest among employees of CUI.

The ASC requested the president/chancellor to direct the administration for the announcement of faculty elections for governing forums at the earliest and completion of the statutory bodies.

Talking to The Nation, registrar COMSATS University Dr. Faheem Qureshi said that, the election rules have been already drafted and sent to the ministry previous, which also includes input of the faculty. He said that it is the collective demand of COMSATS that the acting set-up of the university should be replaced with a permanent apparatus. 

Moreover, he also said that statutory bodies of the faculty should also be established.