VC appointment at KU marred by politicsPolitical interests and differences among the search committee members have stalled the selection of the vice-chancellor at Kathmandu University.
Political interests and differences among the search committee members have stalled the selection of the vice-chancellor at Kathmandu University.
Led by Education Minister Dhani Ram Poudel, the committee has former KU VC Suresh Raj Sharma and Chairman of the KU Board of Trustees Daman Nath Dhungana as members. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, in his capacity as the chancellor of the university, appoints the new VC as recommended by the Poudel-led team.
“The selection process has come to a standstill,” said Sharma. “We are trying to make sure there is no political appointment at the varsity.”
Sharma said they have asked for a meeting with the prime minister to discuss the candidates. “This is the first instance of void in the KU leadership since its establishment. This does not send a good message across,” said Sharma, who pioneered the establishment of KU and led the institution for 21 years.
Sharma did not divulge the names of the candidates. Yet sources close to the committee members said Sharma and Dhungana oppose the name floated by Minister Poudel. He is making efforts to appoint Janardan Lamichhane, a KU head of department believed to be close to Maoist leaders. However, the members maintain that such hand-picking of candidates by the education minister would institutionalise political appointment at the KU. The panel met on Monday but could not agree on a unanimous candidate. Sharma and Dhungana are in bid to find agreement in the name of Dr Ram Kantha Makaju, whose four-year VC tenure ended last Sunday.