The 8th meeting of the UoH Senate was held in Governor House Peshawar with Pro-Chancellor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kamran Bangash in the chair. The meeting was attended by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Haripur (UOH), Prof. Anwar Gilani, MPA Arshad Ayub Khan, Representatives of HED, Chancellor’ office, Establishment and Finance Ministries, Four Vice-Chancellors, Community and Alumni representatives, UoH Registrar, Treasurer and other Senate members.
Prof. Gilani presented the overall performance of the last two years along with a report on the implementation of recommendations of previous meetings, and surplus budget for the year 2020-2021, along with budget estimates for the year 2021-2022, restructuring of faculties and departments, and plans for the upcoming years for consideration and approval.
How this university stands out from others?
According to the university spokesperson, after detailed deliberations and discussion on different agenda items, the Senate approved the budget for the years 2020-21 and 2021-22 as well as restructuring of Faculties and Departments unanimously with some suggestions. The Senate members noted that UOH has made some remarkable accomplishments during the last two and half years under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Gilani, a distinguished Professor decorated with three civil awards including Hilal-i-Imtiaz this year.
The exemplary performance of the University includes controlling the budget deficit, elimination of unionism, the appointment of competent and senior faculty and administrative officers on merit, quality in education and research and reduction in expenditure and infrastructure development. These achievements of the UOH were fully appreciated in the meeting.
It was pointed out that prior to the current Vice-Chancellor the university faced multiple challenges which includes, two-thirds of employees on contract mostly with as long as 8-year service, only two Faculties with 19 departments, insufficient infrastructure, extreme shortage of senior faculty (only 03) and administrative officers but with strong employees Union and a large number of court cases, employees demanding regularization without going through the process. Similarly, the university had a budget deficit of 31 million, with lesser number of students (around 3200). However, during his tenure (less than 3 years to date), Prof. Gilani took revolutionized steps to place a young university in the top-ranked institutions of Pakistan.
The Senate was briefed that based on a series of selection boards (12), with collective efforts, UoH emerged today as a rare University where around 90 % of its employees hold regular appointments and has zero strength of daily wagers. In addition to infrastructure development (Rs. 1.5 billion projects is in its full swing) and research funding (38 projects amounting to Rs.110 M), UoH has achieved distinct academic growth during this period. The number of Faculties has increased from two to five, with 11 new departments (including 20 subjects) and 30 academic programs.
The senior faculty now increased from 03 to 43 (10 Professors and 33 Associate Professors) based on promotions and new recruitment. Similarly, the number of faculty under the tenure track system (TTS, considered to be means of academic and financial sustainability) has increased from 17 to 70. At the national level, the percentage of teachers having Ph.D. degrees in universities is around 35%, while at the UoH, teachers with Ph.D. degrees reached 70 %.
The system of meritocracy has attracted distinguished professors of international repute to join the UOH. In a recent study conducted at Stanford University, USA, seven faculty members of UoH led by Prof. Gilani were listed in the top 2% of scientists of the world, five of them were inducted during the last two years, reflecting a conducive environment and system of meritocracy prevailed at the UOH.
UOH offers some innovative opportunities for the students
Consequently, UoH attracted a large number of students reaching a total strength of 6300 (near 100 % increase) with a target of 7000 students in the coming Spring Semester. Interestingly a number of Ph.D. programs grown to 22 and MS/M.Phil programs to 24. Hence, PhD student strength increased substantially from 19 to 214 during the last two and half years. The UOH is the 1st university in Pakistan to offer a Ph.D. in Medical Lab Technology, a profession with high employability.
The UOH has won all court cases (26/26) and emerged as one of the rare universities of Pakistan where no more Faculty or Staff Union exists reflecting the satisfaction of its employees who are now focusing on work resulting in exceptional performance. The UoH is now well known to adopt HEC policies/directives quickly and is amongst rare Universities, which offered Ph.D. admission according to the new Ph.D. policy of HEC despite having some reservations. Similarly, UOH may be the rare University in Pakistan, which has established the following Centers: Center for Counselling and Social wellbeing, Disability Resource Center, Professional Development Center and Day Care Center.
The Vice-Chancellor is taking extraordinary steps in cognizance with the Provincial government’s directives to impart quality education, set a research environment, and inculcate creative minds. Interestingly, UoH was amongst six universities of KP, which received the Quality Assurance Award recently from HED presented by Mr. Kamran Bangash, who happened to Chair this Senate meeting and appreciated the tireless efforts and services of Prof. Gilani and his entire team for the rapid success of the UOH in a short time.
The writer is working as Assistant Professor, Coordinator for Graduate Program in Public Administration & Governance, and Social Media Coordinator at The University of Haripur, Pakistan. He earned PhD in Public Administration and Government from Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil. He is a former Visiting Fellow at the University of Delaware. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.