Education & Culture

JU senate meeting today

Published : 23 Jun 2023 08:02 PM

Jahangirnagar University authorities are set to hold their 40th annual senate meeting at its Senate hall on Saturday with expired senate members.

According to The University Act 1973, the university senate shall consist of 93 members. The members of the senate are - Vice-Chancellor of the University, Vice-Chancellor (one or more), Treasurer, five Government officials nominated by the Government, five members of Parliament nominated by the Speaker, five distinguished educationist nominated by the Chancellor, five representatives of research bodies nominated by the Syndicate, five principals of colleges nominated by the Academic Council, the Chairman of Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Dhaka, twenty-five representatives of Registered Graduates elected from among themselves, thirty-three representatives of  teachers of the university other than the Deans elected in a special meeting of the teachers of the university, five representatives of the students nominated by the University Central Students Union.

The last Registered Graduate representative’s election was held on December 30, 2018 and teacher representative’s election was held on October 11, 2015.

The three-year tenure of the Registered Graduates senate members expired in December 2021 while the tenure of teacher representatives expired in October 2018.

However, according to section 19 (2) of the Ordinance, “The duties of senators shall continue until their successors are elected, nominated and appointed." The expired senators are performing their duties under this section.

Professor Mohammad Kamrul Ahsan, a register graduate senate member, said, “It  is a shame for us that we are going to the Senate even after the end of the term. We were not supposed to go. The registered graduates gave me a mandate for three years. But not being able to hold elections on time even after expiry is a failure of the administration. Elections are not being held on purpose since it is easier for the administration to serve their purpose through ex-officio councils. We have betrayed the trust the state gave us of autonomy and elections through the Universities Act 1973.

Barrister Shihab Uddin Khan, an elected member of the senate in the same category, said, Two elected registered graduate senate members are supposed to participate in the Syndicate. But even after five years of the Senate session, no initiative has been taken. The election process of registered graduates is somewhat difficult and time-consuming but the authorities can do it if they want. Democratic councils need to be consistently elected. The administration may not want to hold elections due to the fear that a council will come if new elections are held as a group of beneficiaries.

Professor Mohammad Amzad Hossain, one of the teacher representatives of the Senate, said, Except for the university teachers’ association, there are no elections in the other democratic councils. We have repeatedly informed the administration about the elections in all these councils. After the present Vice-Chancellor took over, we expected him to hold the elections. But he is also following the path of the former vice-chancellor. Due to some invisible fear, the administration is not giving elections. Their fear is that they will not be able to win if they are elected to these councils. They don't want to hear what people with different views want to say.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Nurul Alam said, Legally, Senate members cannot be said to have expired. If we get the cooperation of all concerned in the university, we will take the initiative for election in various categories very soon. We are very serious about bringing student representatives from JACSU. Since we need the government’s cooperation in this regard, it is not possible for us to do anything now as the national election is scheduled to be held within the upcoming months.

The agendas for the 40th Senate session are- Vice-Chancellor's Address, Confirmation of the Minutes of the 39th Session of the Senate, Confirmation of the Minutes of the Special Session of the Senate held on 12 August 2022, Approval of the Verbatim Report of the 39th Senate Session, approval of the, 2022-23 (revised) and 2023-24 (original) recurring budget, approval of the draft annual report for the academic year 2021-22, consideration of the ratification of the statute with the report of the relevant committee for the purpose of converting the Jahangirnagar University School and College into Institute of  Education and Research.