M Zahidul Haque
The Government has recently appointed Prof. Dr. Md. Shahidur Rashid Bhuiyan as the Vice Chancellor (VC) and Prof. Dr. Md. Nazrul Islam as the Treasurer of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU), Dhaka.
It may be mentioned here that the post of Vice Chancellor had fallen vacant on August 14, 2020, following completion of the term of the immediate past Vice chancellor Prof. Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahamad. On the same day, the tenure of Treasurer and the Pro VC was also ended. So, the major executive posts of the varsity became empty.
It was perhaps due to the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, the process of selecting and appointing a new Vice Chancellor and a Treasurer got slow. As there was no VC, the university could not pay salaries to the teachers, officers and staff. In order to mitigate the sufferings without salary in the pandemic hard time, the competent authority had made an unprecedented interim arrangement by entrusting the responsibility of discharging routine tasks of the vice chancellor to the SAU Registrar. Although this arrangement had created resentment among the teachers of country’s different public universities, the interim arrangement had yet helped the SAU employees to draw their salaries plus to get other day-to-day work done.
The newly appointed and joined Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Md. Shahidur Rashid Bhuiyan is an academic with outstanding accomplishments. He has been successfully teaching Genetics and Plant Breeding at SAU. He is a plant breeder and developed quite a number of new improved varieties of crops including mustard. He is a prolific writer and has a large number of scientific publications and popular articles to his credit. Socially active, Prof. Bhuiyan has been associated with a number of professional, socio-cultural and philanthropic organizations. After joining to his new assignment as the vice chancellor, Prof. S R Bhuiyan has expressed his firm commitment to making the SAU a centre par excellence.
Meanwhile at the same time, Prof. Dr. Md. Nazrul Islam of the Department of Horticulture has been appointed as the Treasurer of SAU. He replaced Prof. Dr. Md. Anworul Hoque Beg whose tenure was also ended on August 14. Prof. Nazrul Islam is a well-known Horticultural scientist with a remarkable academic career. He has so far more than 60 scientific publications to his credit. He is associated with various professional and socio-cultural organizations. He is the President of SAU Teachers’ Association. He expressed his firm thought of serving the university with total dedication.
It may be mentioned here that Pro VC Prof. Dr. Md. Sekender Ali’s tenure was also completed on August 14, 2020, but none has been appointed against the post of Pro Vice Chancellor. So the post remained vacant.
This author sincerely expects that both the new Vice Chancellor and Treasurer will bring the country’s oldest and prestigious higher agricultural educational institution forward to a new height of academic excellence research accomplishment.
Before closing this write-up, the author likes to throw some light on some important issues. A Vice-Chancellor is an academic leader who runs a university as a leader, supporter, ambassador, and advocate–all directed to the welfare and development of the university plus expanding the university’s reputation to an international standard. A VC’s job is both challenging and rewarding. As Nelson Mandela observed—“Education is a powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Higher education helps in generating and disseminating knowledge and skill for ensuring development in all the segments of human faculty and community. At this end, the Vice Chancellor plays a vital role. This author wishes success of the new VC and Treasurer.
(The author is Professor at the Department of Agricultural Extension and Information System, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka)