Appointment of KU's VC tangled in political interests

Published On: January 10, 2017 01:00 AM NPT By: Madhusudan Guragain

BANEPA, Jan 10: Kathmandu University, one of the biggest educational institutions in the country, is without its vice chancellor for a month after the tenure of Dr Ramkantha Makaju ended.

The appointment of the new VC is being delayed due to the growing political interference. Political parties are mulling to appoint the one close to their own party to the prestigious post of the VC. Such unfortunate interference is set to tarnish the image of KU, which worked hard to establish its name in the domestic and international stages.

On November 28, a three-member committee was formed by the university to find appropriate candidate for the post of VC for the university as the then VC was retiring soon. The committee consists of Education Minister Dhaniram Paudel, KU former VC Dr Suresh Raj Sharma and Chairman of KU Board of Trustee, Daman Nath Dhungana. 

Traditionally, the search committee would have already selected the candidate for the post before the date of retirement of the VC. But the tradition was not upheld this time as they are still not able to forge a consensus regarding the appointment of the VC to this day.

The reason for the delay is the lack of consensus among the search committee members. Two of the members are supporting one candidate, while the minister is supporting another.

While Sharma and Dhungana are in favor of extending the tenure of Makaju, Education Minister Paudel, by all means, wants to appoint Janardan Lamichhane, professor of the university's Department of Biotechnology, as the VC. Lamichhane is affiliated with the Maoist party.

The committee also broke another tradition by recommending five candidates for the post.

Prior to this, the committee used to recommend only three candidates. Five individuals recommend for the post are former VC Makaju, former registrar Bhaktaman Tuladhar, Registrar and Acting VC Bhola Thapa, former dean Mana Prasad Wagle and chief of the Department of Biotechnology Lamichhane.

Thapa was appointed the acting VC by Chancellor and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

The growing political interference in the university is causing severe negative impacts on the university's studying environment. “Now the KU has also succumbed to political games,” said former KU professor Bhola KC, expressing his disappointment.

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