Don’t just investigate VCs, take legal action too

Seniors teachers of the university are appointed as vice chancellors (VCs) so that they can run the university smoothly, maintaining good relationship with the teachers and the students. But we have been witnessing with concern that many VCs run the universities in an arbitrary fashion, flouting the rules and regulations once they are installed in office. As a result, the university administration turns into an area of competition for the teachers.

Recently the University Grants Commission (UGC) investigated the allegations of irregularities and corruption of several public universities’ administration, that is, the the VC's. And Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur has become the much talked about. A myriad of allegations has surfaced against its vice chancellor professor Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah and his unscrupulous associates. A probe body of the UCG has found the irregularities carried out by the VC in the projects involving the construction of two 10-storey buildings and a memorial in the university, to be true. Besides, the UGC has initiated a move to investigate as many as 45 allegations of irregularities and corruption against him. A teachers’ organisation of the university, Bangabandhu Parishad, has declared him persona non grata on campus.

The VC didn’t take the report of the UGC’s first probe committee well as was apparent at a press conference on 4 March. The VC denied the allegations brought against him saying he is a victim of conspiracy and politics of the education minister. The education ministry in a statement has termed his remarks false and distasteful.

The other allegations he faces are continuous absence on the campus, defying the order of the president, covering-up fraudulence in the admission test, recruiting workforce violating UGC's guidelines, corruption and irregularities centering teachers and workforce recruitment, remaining absent despite being the chairman of the recruitment board, unsafe campus, discrimination in promotions, taking academic and administrative positions flouting rules and violation of procurement rules. The VC blamed the education minister and the UCG for everything without giving any proper answer to these allegations.

UCG is also probing the various irregularities and corruption taken place in other universities including Khulna Agricultural University, Barisal University, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University, Islamic Arabic University, Noakhali Science and Technology University, National University, Pabna Science and Technology University, University of Chittagong and Comilla University. Most of the cases are related to financial irregularities and recruitment through flouting rules.

We hope that this time the education ministry and the UCG will not stop only by conducting investigation like they do always. They will take legal measures against the people concerned making the probe reports public.

Arrangement has to be made to recover the money from the VCs who have wasted public fund by recruiting people for various positions, flouting the rules. The government will have to be careful so that this kind of people can’t get any important positions in the universities in future.

Officials at education ministry will have to understand that irregularities and corruption have been taking place at the public universities for many years. Many probe committees have been formed, committees have submitted reports but action hasn’t been taken against anyone, other than a few exceptions. This must not continue.