Amid no decision on elections for the senate and syndicate, the one-year term of deans of various faculties of Panjab University also ended on Sunday without selection of their successors.
This is probably for the first time since Partition that the varsity has been left without a governing body and deans.
Deans are elected by the senators, added members, professors and heads of departments. However, there are no senators available to pick them, as the term of the senate – the apex governing body of PU – ended on October 31 last year.
The varsity has already deferred the senate polls twice in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since, syndicate members are elected from among the senators, elections for the syndicate also hang in balance.
According to the PU Calendar, each faculty elects its dean before January 31 every year, allowing the dean and secretary to hold office from February 1 to January 31 of the following year.
Keshav Malhotra, who was the dean of business management and commerce, said, “The absence of deans will cripple the entire academic and research process. Students and research scholars will be the worst effected.”
Term of BoF members also concludes
The one-year term of members of PU’s board of finance (BoF) also ended on Sunday. The board consists of nine members, four of whom are appointed from among the senate and syndicate members. With no governing body, the election for these four members can also not be held.
Former senator Navdeep Goyal, who was a member of BoF, said, “In absence of the board, along with no governing body, things may get worse for the university.”
In its official response, the varsity said it was a temporary phase due to an unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic. PU will see to it that work does not suffer in any manner by taking appropriate actions as per PU Act and regulations.
Why they are important
Deans preside over faculty meetings where all academic works, including change in syllabus and new courses, are decided
They are also members of committees for career advancement scheme (CAS) promotion and direct recruitment of teachers
Moreover, the research degree committee, that approves synopsis of students, is also chaired by the dean of the respective faculties
They also guide the university regarding various aspects of several rankings
In their absence, there is uncertainty on how these processes will go on.