The University Grants Commission (UGC) is going to direct the public universities to close their liaison offices in Dhaka amid allegations of their misuse and wastage of public money.
It has decided in principle that it will send a letter soon to the public universities directing them to shut their liaison offices that have been in operation for over five years.The university regulatory body will also not allow any new liaison office for any public university, said the UGC sources.
The universities that run the liaison offices in Dhaka include Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, Islamic University, National University, Pabna University of Science and Technology, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Digital University, Patuakhali Science and Technology University, Sheikh Hasina University, Khulna Agricultural University, Barishal University, Mawlana Bhashani Science and Technology University and Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University.
Talking to the Daily Sun, UGC Chairman Prof Kazi Shahidullah said the operation of the liaison offices of the public universities in Dhaka for long is a bad practice. “We want to stop it.”
He said the universities are running the liaison offices for years though they had set up those only for 2-3 years. “We’ll send a letter soon to the universities in this regard,” he added.
UGC sources said most of the public universities located outside Dhaka set up their liaison offices in Dhaka for the sake of emergency work of the universities in the capital.
But there are many allegations that the top officials of the public universities are misusing the offices as they are holding important meetings like that of finance committee, recruitment board and syndicate at the liaison offices.The universities have to spend huge amount of money in the form of travel allowance (TA) and other allowances for the participants of the meetings held at the liaison offices in Dhaka.
Even the vice-chancellors of a few universities are using the liaison offices like key offices of their universities staying in Dhaka instead of their respective campuses.
A vice-chancellor is the head of the university administration. The university acts says the VC has to stay on the campus all the time. The VC is expected to resolve all problems the teachers and students face apart from overseeing the administrative activities.
But some VCs of the public universities located outside Dhaka stay in Dhaka most of the time instead of their campuses for their own purposes and they are misusing the liaison offices.
There are allegations that since taking charge as the VC of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, (BRUR), Prof Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah remained absent on the campus for most of the time.
Academic and administrative activities came to a standstill due to the VC’s long absence at BRUR. Prof Kalimullah is staying in Dhaka and he is using the university’s liaison office in the capital’s Mohammadpur area like the permanent office.
Allegations are rife that VC Prof Kalimullah held almost all meetings of the university at the liaison office in Dhaka despite written objections lodged by the teacher association.
University teachers and employees have to undergo sufferings to come to Dhaka from Rangpur for participating in the meetings while public money is also being wasted as the university has to pay TA and other allowances to them.
UGC officials said although the public universities set up the liaison offices in Dhaka only for 2-3 years, they never stop their operation.
The universities have to spend a huge amount of money every year to run the offices at rented houses in the capital.
There is no need of the liaison offices for some public universities like National University but they are still running the offices in the interests of the top officials of the institutions, said an UGC official.