By Colombo Telegraph -
“One of the candidates is the spouse of the current chairperson of the UGC. The UGC makes its own recommendation to the President on who out of the three candidates ought to be appointed as VC. The actual and perceived independence of a Vice Chancellor is essential for the autonomous functioning of the university. The UGC is the regulator of higher education in Sri Lanka and has to act independently from the respective university. The UGC makes determinations, among other things, regarding allocation of funds and appointments to university councils. The University Services Appeals Board is under the purview of the UGC. The independence of the university from the UGC therefore is essential. Therefore, either the candidate or the UGC chairperson must immediately withdraw from their respective positions.” says the Association of Law Teachers of the University of Colombo
We publish below the ALTUC statement in full;
ALTUC (the Association of Law Teachers of the University of Colombo) at the Special General Meeting on the 8th of March 2013 unanimously adopted the following statement regarding the selection and nomination of a Vice Chancellor for the University of Colombo
ALTUC is an association committed to upholding the rule of law, democratic values and the respect for human dignity and rights. It is entrusted with the task of inculcating the same.
A Vice Chancellor of a university is the chief executive officer who acts as the representative of the institution and the officer who acts as the leader of the institution. As such, the Vice Chancellor is called to provide vision, leadership and inspiration to the university wide community and assert, among other things, the autonomy of the institution.
It has been made known that three candidates have been selected/nominated for the post of vice chancellor. Two significant concerns are noted in this regard;
Therefore; We request the Council to consider the issue of conflict of interest. Debate on the potential impact it could have on the process and reach an informed and carefully thought through decision on the matter. The Council ought to act in the best interest of the institution.
Provide for a more transparent and participatory process in the selection process. Providing wide publicity to the process, inviting comments from the university community and encouraging university wide debate and discussion are possible methods to be employed.