Most of the public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have yet to constitute their respective senate – the top supervisory and decision-making body – in line with the provisions of the relevant law enacted last year, it is learnt.
Such universities have been functioning in the absence of the senate in violation of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act 2012, passed by the provincial assembly seven months ago.
The new law is applicable to all public sector universities except the University of Peshawar; and Malakand University and Sharingal University of Upper Dir in Provincially Administered Tribal Areas. Prior to this enactment of this law, every university was established under its own law.
With the implementation of the new law, all the senate bodies functioning in the respective universities under their previous laws were abolished and required to constitute their respective senate according to the criteria set in the new law.
The universities, which are yet to establish their respective senate, includes
- Gomal University Dera Ismail Khan
- Hazara University Mansehra
- University of Science and Technology Bannu
- Khushal Khan Khattak University Karak
- Islamia College University Peshawar
- Shaheed Benazir Women University Peshawar
- Agriculture University Peshawar
- University of Haripur
- University of Swabi
- Bacha Khan University Charsadda
- Kohat University of Science and Technology
- University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar.
Of 18 public sector universities in the province, 14 have been functioning without the senate, according to sources. The relevant law states that senate shall meet at least twice in a calendar year.
The law has empowered the senate to have general supervision of the university and hold the vice-chancellor and other relevant authorities accountable for all functions of the university. The law states that the senate shall have the powers to control matters pertaining to the property, funds and investments of the university, including the approval of sale and purchase or acquisition of movable and immovable property according the laid down policy.
It has also the powers to approve the proposed annual plan of work, annual and revised budgets, annual report and statement of account. The senate has also to oversee the quality and relevance of the university’s academic programmes and review the academic affairs of the university in general.
Under the new law, the chancellor couldn’t remove the vice-chancellor directly, as the law states: “Where the chancellor is of the view that the vice-chancellor should be removed, he may make a reference to the senate stating the instances of inefficiency, moral turpitude or physical or mental incapacity or gross misconduct on the part of vice-chancellor that have come to his notice. After consideration of the reference, the senate shall, pursuant to a resolution in this behalf passed by two-thirds of its membership, recommend to the chancellor the removal of the vice-chancellor.”
A senior university official told Dawn that senate constitution took a lot of time because many stakeholders were involved in it. He claimed that most of the administrations of the universities had already nominated their members for the respective senate, while nomination of members by the chancellor was causing the delay.
He said that universities had requested the former governor and chancellor of the public sector universities, Masood Kausar, to notify his nominees to the universities for completion of the senate, but to no avail. “Actually, the chancellor was not taking interest in the matter,” he said.