Islamabad-The non-appointment of permanent Vice Chancellor (VC) in the University of Haripur (UoH) for last two years has finally led to the complete shut-down of the institution, where degrees are withheld, buses anchored and salaries remain unpaid, The Nation learned on Tuesday.

Defying the tall claims of uplifting the higher education sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government is looking the other way instead of addressing grievances of the public sector university established around a decade ago, said a senior official.

Sources informed The Nation that the university is facing a complete shut-down in academic, administrative and financial affairs, since the term of Pro-VC Prof. Dr. Abid Fareed ended in November. The Pro VC was holding acting charge of the university head.

Sources said that the post of regular registrar is also vacant since long. “Students and faculty are suffering since last two years, but all cries all falling on deaf ears,” said an official wishing anonymity.  The university has strength of around 5000 students with 15 departments and nearly 200 faculty members including lecturers, assistant professors, associate professors and professors.

At the moment, students’ degrees and scholarships are pending, while the teaching faculty has not been paid their salaries too.

“The transport section is completely closed and there is no one in the university to approve utility bills of the varsity,” said the official.

Official also said that 80 percent of the university faculty is working on contract and no selection board meeting has been held in last two years.

“There is uncertainty among faculty regarding future of the university,” said official.

The university administration had also intimated the provincial Higher Education Department (HED) in a letter a month before to take action before the administrative situation goes worse.

“However, the HED delayed in expediting the process of appointment of the head on permanent or acting basis,” said the official.

Official said that the HED has three times moved the summary of appointment of permanent head of the university to Chief Minister (CM), but no serious measures have been taken so far.

Around 150 faculty members of the university also came on road and held protest against the government for delaying the appointment of the university head and pushing the university towards crises.

Male and female faculty members holding placards blocked the road for one hour and chanted slogans against the government.

The protestors demanded from the CM KP, Mehmmod Khan to fulfil his promise of solving the problems of higher education sector on emergency basis.  Talking to The Nation president Academic Staff Association (ASA) UoH, Mohammad Tufail said that the faculty and employees have observed strike and no classes will be held from now onwards in the university.

“The university is even deprived of the ad-hoc set-up,” he said.

He said no classes will be taken until the appointment of permanent VC, while the protest will be taken to governor house in the next phase.

“We reject this ‘change’ which is not facilitating the students, teaching faculty and employees of the university,” he said.

Aditional registrar UoH Dr. Zahoor talking to The Nation said that administrative affairs are halted since November 13 this year, after the term of Pro-VC ended. He said that in absence of regular VC, a senior dean is appointed as Pro-VC of the university, but he can hold the top administrative charge for more than two years.

He said the HED has also not authorized any other official to run day to day administrative affairs of the university. Dr. Zahoor confirmed that administrative and financial affairs of the university are halted since November.

Private Secretary to the secretary HED, Nooran Shah talking to The Nation said that governor has to appoint the VC of the university, while the registrar can answer about the administrative shut down of the institution. The official was uninformed about the strike and shut-down of the institution.

Secretary HED Manzoor Ahmed was contacted but he didn’t reply till filing of this story.