Vice chancellors of public universities demand transparency in rewards, incentives
LAHORE: The vice chancellors of public universities have demanded the government introduce a transparent structure of incentives and rewards for the vice chancellors.
The demand was made after the reports of hefty special allowances to three vice chancellors surfaced, sending shockwaves among the academia, particularly the vice chancellors in Punjab.
The VCs of the Information Technology University, Government College University, Lahore, and Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, have been given special allowances of Rs400,000, Rs200,000 and Rs150,000, respectively, in addition to regular salaries and other facilities, according to notifications issued by the Higher Education Department (HED) in January.
Commenting on the special allowances being paid to the three VCs, a couple of vice chancellors, requesting anonymity, told Dawn they were shocked not because of the amounts being given to the three VCs but because of the criteria or no criteria for the three VCs picked for ‘favours’ as compared to the heads of other public sector universities. They also expressed surprise that how the alleged system of manipulation was working under the command of a `tough’ chief minister.
It is learnt the law permits award of allowances and packages to the VCs. A baseline for VCs’ pay has been fixed by the Higher Education Commission. However, any allowances and perks granted by the government over and above the set scale should be based on some comparative analysis or certain key performance indicators.
A vice chancellor stated one could easily learn from the best international practices in higher education and find that VCs or heads of higher education institutions were rewarded on the basis of their track record prior to the appointment and achievement of set goals afterwards. For example, being in a leadership position, he stated, a VC was expected to have set new standards in research, teaching, outreach and community services, internationalisation, e.g. exchange programmes, international projects and centres, infrastructure development, policy support and advocacy, rankings, endowments and general resource mobilisation.
Other important options, the VC said, could be the volume of work in a given university, its location and unique challenges. For example, the Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan, was established in 2012 and to date no VC could be appointed there.
“It is highly unlikely that any person of high calibre would be a candidate for the Ghazi University at the standard terms. It would have been far better to announce an incentive package for that university instead of doling out allowances to the blue-eyed sitting in Lahore,” he observed.
The VCs have requested Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to take notice of the disparity and create a transparent and all-inclusive incentive and reward structure.
Source: DAWN news