Education Minister-led committee recommends three names to lead Kathmandu UniversityDespite strong demands that he not be appointed for another term, incumbent Vice-chancellor Dr Ram Kantha Makaju gets recommended for a third term.
The Minister for Education Krishna Gopal Shrestha-led three-member committee has recommended the names of three professors, including incumbent Vice-chancellor Dr Ram Kantha Makaju, to lead Kathmandu University for the next four years.
Bhola Thapa, a professor of the engineering department, and Bal Chandra Luitel, from the education department, are the other two who have made it to the shortlist of three. The committee will forward the names to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who as the ex-officio chancellor, will pick one to lead the varsity.
“The search committee on Monday selected Makaju, Thapa and Luitel after a long discussion,” said a senior official at the ministry on the condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to disclose the decision to the media. “Despite demands not to continue with Makaju, there was a strong lobby for him.”
As many as 44 serving and retired professors from various universities had applied for the post which will be vacant in a week.
The three-member committee formed to recommend the vice chancellor candidates on January 5 had asked for curriculum vitae from the aspirants. The 88th senate meeting of the university on December 29 had formed the committee, led by Shrestha, to find a successor to Makaju, whose term expires on January 21.
Daman Nath Dhungana, chair of the KU Board of Trustees, and Suresh Raj Sharma, former vice chancellor at the university, are the other members.
According to the official, Dhungana and Sharma strongly stood for Makaju who has already served two terms as the vice-chancellor.
This is the second time Thapa, who is also a former registrar, was recommended for the position. The search committee in 2017 had recommended Thapa along with Makaju and Janardan Lamichhhane, a professor at the university. However, then Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal appointed Makaju for a second term.
Former registrars at the university Bhadra Man Tuladhar, who also is the founder of the university, along with former dean Man Prasad Wagle, professors Lamichhane and Bibhuti Ranjan Jha among others had applied for the post.
This is the first time in the three-decade history of the university that applications were called to select the vice-chancellor. Makaju, who replaced Suresh Raj Sharma, was first appointed in 2012.
The Kathmandu University Professors’ Association and a section of the students have been demanding that Makaju, who has been dragged into different controversies in his two terms, not be appointed for another term. Last week they demonstrated in Maitighar with a banner, “No Makaju this time.”