SRINAGAR: In a move that has raised eyebrows and sparked controversy, Kashmir University (KU) has allegedly instructed its teaching faculty to submit casual leave requests in order to avail of summer vacations.
On July 24 of this year, KU announced summer vacations for teaching departments from July 28 to August 6, 2023.
“For the first time in the history of Kashmir University, some professors from the School of Law, KU, were reportedly directed by Dean Prof Mohammad Hussain to submit casual leave requests for taking summer vacation after the summer vacations had already concluded,” revealed an official to the news agency KNO.
The Head of Department (HoD) reportedly threatened to withhold their salaries when the affected professors protested against this directive.
“Faculty members were subjected to harassment and were instructed to submit their leave requests to the HoD’s office, with the threat of potential departmental action if they failed to comply,” confirmed an official from KU’s administrative department.
Heads, Directors, and Deans from other faculties and departments within the university expressed astonishment over this move and called for an impartial inquiry into the entire incident.
“This action is a clear violation of KU’s norms and guidelines. No HoD has the authority to unilaterally amend university rules. We have never witnessed such an unwarranted and serious violation in our faculties,” asserted a group of HoDs at KU.
A legal expert stated that the HoD’s actions in the School of Law amount to a blatant violation of civil service rules and other recruitment regulations within the university.
“This is such a serious breach of the rules that a high-level inquiry should be conducted, and the controversial HoD should be suspended for harassing faculty members, as failure to do so could be detrimental to the academic environment within the department and the university as a whole,” emphasised a group of professors.
“Such actions by the Dean have tarnished the reputation of the department and created an unfavorable and non-conducive environment, which could negatively impact the smooth functioning of teaching and learning processes and the overall departmental operation,” added a group of students.
They questioned how the Head and Dean could refuse to comply with the summer vacation order issued by Kashmir University.
Kashmir University Registrar, Nisar Ahmad Mir, responded by stating that requesting casual leave submissions made no sense, but he assured that he would investigate the matter. “Anyone who has been asked to submit casual leave requests should reach out to me in this regard,” he affirmed.
When contacted, Vice Chancellor Nilofer Khan said that she would personally investigate the matter. (KNO)