For any university to be functional and start its operations a regular campus is the first thing to be there. A campus is not just a building. It has to be lively and vibrant. The students, teachers and all other staff should seem to have an air of pride and excellence.
For this purpose the VC or PD has to induce the vision of the university into the minds of every student, lecturer and staff (from peon to VC himself) very clearly. Where the University wants to stand 10-20 years ahead? The answer to this questions should be the same and communicated across the board.
To make it vibrant, the campus should have regular classes, occasional events, national level contents, conferences and research publications. Students should be encouraged to speak up their mind and come up with innovative curricular and co-curricular ideas. Along with all this, any action which damages the vision of the university should be strictly discouraged.
The campus air should not be filled with political slogans and political activities on campus. Vibrant doesn’t means students should start throwing stones on the window panes of the classes. And this will not happen, if from the very first day the leader starts communicating the vision and proving it with his own integrity and adherence to the vision. From Day One, the team should start branding the campus in accordance with the vision.
Competent human resource
To achieve any goal and materialize any vision or dream, the importance of a competent team is utmost. However, we should not measure competence by high marks or good grades only.
By competent here I mean that the team members (academia, administrative, support staff) should be skillful as well as characterful. As the integrity equation equals competence + character. The team should know the importance of their role as thousands of youth is there to learn and lead the nation. If the vision is to be the best university of Pakistan, you have to hire the best teachers, the best office assistant, the best accountant and even the best driver. If your vision is to be the best research university in Pakistan, you have to hire the best statistician, the best epistemologist, develop the best R&D section etc. In short, your actions should translate to your vision. Your small actions should represent the bigger vision. The way you walk on the campus, as a student, lecturer or PD, should tell the people looking at you that you are walking the talk.
You are adding your each step to the vision you look up to. With competent human resource you can make a far greater progress towards your vision than a lousy one. A group of competent academicians produce competent youth. A group of professional administrative staff produce quick and desired results. A group of competent students add to a prosperous nation. At times, as a visionary team, you might have to stand up for your vision and only a competent team can do that. Saying no to nepotism, political pressure, and students’ politics would be important if that threatens your vision.
For a vibrant campus and recruit competent HR, the university should have enough funds. Funds should be readily made available by the Govt and HEC. The leader and the team should know the amount of funds required at a particular time. A budget flow timeline should be on the figure tips of the accounts and finance section. In case of inadequate funds from the Govt, the team should know about the availability of other avenues of funding including international.
The vision and competent team can be a good reason to seek funds from donor agencies. Funds can also be generated through the campus resources such as events, publications, students’ start-ups etc. With adequate funds, necessary infrastructure can be built, advanced technology purchased and scholarship schemes introduced.
To keep the funds available, the university should not be engaged in extravagant activities which have less impact or no value addition to the vision of the university. There are many other factors which should be taken care of if University of Chitral has to be made an example of greatness. However, the above three are the very fundamentals the university team should stick to. Every Chitrali has attached high hopes with UoC and we hope to see it among the top universities of Pakistan very soon.
(The writer is a business graduate and blogs at: http://attasabir.blogspot.com).