Sunday, May 18, 2008

RU VC Prof Altaf removed

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Rajshahi University (RU) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Altaf Hossain was removed yesterday for his alleged involvement in corruption in recruiting 545 university teachers and employees during the BNP-Jammat alliance government, education ministry sources said.

According to Section 11(2) of the Rajshahi University Act 1973, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Mamnunul Keramat would temporarily act as new VC in addition to his present position, said an education ministry handout.

Campus sources said faculty deans, department chairs, and senior teachers thronged the campus residence of the removed VC after the ministry handout reached the university at around 6:45pm yesterday.

Prof Altaf later called an emergency meeting with faculty deans and high university officials at his residence.

He later told the press that the government took the decision in the greater interest of the nation.

The removed VC was widely criticised for his role following the arrests of eight RU teachers on charges of breaking the emergency rules in August last year. Even Dhaka University teachers demanded his removal for his role at the time.

He also incurred the wrath of his students for his failure to maintain law and order in halls of residence, especially in female dormitories. A university teacher, Dr S Taher Ahmed, was killed at his campus residence during Prof Altaf's time in office.

After the state of emergency was declared in early last year, RU teachers and students handed in memorandums to the chief adviser, demanding Prof Altaf's removal.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) conducted several investigations against top officials of some public universities and found huge financial and administrative irregularities in Rajshahi University, especially in recruiting teachers.

Prof Altaf, who became the RU vice chancellor on June 5 in 2005, was removed following UGC recommendations, sources said.

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