Twenty-seven private, and three public universities are without vice-chancellors (VCs), hampering academic and administrative activities of the institutions.
Besides, currently, some 23 out of 46 public universities and 84 out of 107 private universities have no pro-vice chancellors, according to the University Grants Commission (UGC).
Treasurers have been given the responsibility as acting VCs in absence of VCs and pro-VCs. However, some 53 private universities also have no treasurers.
Of the public universities, there has been no VC, pro-VC or treasurer at Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University since 14 August.
As a result, the salary of 977 teachers, officials and employees of the university has been held up in addition to other academic and administrative activities being affected.
Apart from Sher-e-Bangla Agriculture University, there are no VCs at Dhaka Engineering and Technology University (DUET) in Gazipur, and Islamic University in Kushtia.
UGC director for public universities, Md Kamal Hossain told Bangladesh Post, “The president, who is chancellor of the universities in the country, makes appointments to a university’s key posts like vice-chancellor. We have sent proposals for the recruitment. The proposal will go to the president via the prime minister’s office. As the president and Prime Minister are related to appointments for this vital post, it will take some time in maintaining formalities.”
“Without being appointed by the chancellor one may work as an acting vice-chancellor at a university,” he said.
Administrative and academic activities may be hampered at universities operating without regular vice-chancellors or pro-vice chancellors or treasurers, Md Kamal said, adding, “When students get their graduation degrees they need the signature of the vice-chancellor on the certificates.”
According to UGC officials, the newly-opened public universities like Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Digital University in Kaliakair, Sheikh Hasina University in Netrakona, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University in Gopalganj, Khulna Agricultural University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University in the capital and Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Science and Technology University in Jamalpur have no pro-VCs or treasurers and some of them have no full time faculties.
According to separate acts for the public universities and Private University Act 2010, it is mandatory for universities to have the VCs and treasurers for operating the administrative and financial activities.
UGC member Dil Afroza said, “Operations of a few public universities and most of the private universities were facing troubles for not having the VCs, pro-VCs and treasurers. The government will soon appoint VCs, pro-VCs and treasurers at the public universities.”
About the private universities, she said, “We also asked for a list from private universities for appointments against the vacant posts of VCs, Pro-VCs and treasurers.”
As per the private university act, the private university board of trustees sends the names of at least three professors against one post to the education ministry.
After scrutiny by the UGC, the ministry sends the proposal to the top level of the government. At the last stage, the President recruits one candidate from them.
Private University Association, President Sheikh Kabir Hossain said, “The education ministry and UGC should simplify the recruitment process in appointing VC, pro-VC and treasurer. At least three names are to be given for each post. But it is difficult to find so many qualified persons. Sometimes it takes three to four months for this process.”
According to the UGC website, reputed private universities like Independent University, Bangladesh, Daffodil International University, University of Asia Pacific, Gono Bishwabidyalay, Manarat International University, State University of Bangladesh, Shanto-Mariam University of Creative Technology and Bangladesh Army International University of Science & Technology were operating without VCs, pro-VCs and treasurers.
Besides, North South University, East West University, BRAC University, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Uttara University Stamford University Bangladesh, United International University, Prime Asia University and a dozen other universities were operating without any pro-VC and treasurer.