Friday, April 21, 2017
M M Jasim :
The Vice-Chancellors of private universities are virtually powerless, as they have to depend on the Board of Trustees to perform any job of the universities.
As a result, the VCs cannot operate the academic activities properly and work to ensure quality higher education.
According to the Private University Act-2010, the post of the VC is vital, as many functions, such as syndicate meetings and many financial matters, totally depend on the VC's consent.
But unfortunately, at least 39 among the 95 private universities in the country have not had a Vice-Chancellor for a long time. The other universities have VCs, but they are not able to run their activities independently.
Professor Amin-u-Sarker was appointed as VC of North South University for four years in 2013. But he was forced to leave the post after two years due to the conflict of the members of Board of Trustees.
The university insiders said that he worked in the university just like an employee. He never amused the post of the VC. Former VC of Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology Professor Mizanur Rahman also left the University due to the conflict of the owners.
Like Professor Amin-u-Sarker and Professor Mizanur Rahman most of the VCs of the private universities cannot contribute in performing their academic activities to ensure the quality education.
A VC of a private university wishing anonymity told this correspondent, "It is our bad luck that we cannot act properly. We have to depend on the order of the Board of Trustees. We have actually no power."
"Most of the financial meetings were held without my presence. I think such scenario prevails almost all the private universities," he said.
Another VC said, the university owners are happy if the VC remains absent in any meeting. Some VCs protest about irregularities of the finance of the university fund. But they do not take it easily. That is why about half of the total private universities have no VCs, he said.
Chairman of University Grants Commission told The New Nation that it is indeed that the VCs of some private universities had not worked independently.
"The VC is a vital post of any university. The quality education and overall development of the university depend on a VC. He or she must be free from all hindrance of the owners. Otherwise, the whole education system of the university will be fallen in severe problem," he said.
Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Chowdhury said, the owners of the private universities use the VCs as their normal employee.
"It is the prime problem to improve the quality education in private universities. The VCs must have appropriate power to operate the private universities," he said.
"A big question mark also appears on the transparency of all academic and administrative activities if the owners neglect the VCs," he said.