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Sukkur IBA University – an opportunity or a big challenge

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After the heart breaking demise of Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui, Ex-Vice Chancellor, Sukkur IBA University; a debate has triggered amongst the relevant school of thought to scavenge a person who can interpret the dreams of Nisar Siddiqui. An outlook of the Sukkur IBA University reveals that the tiny school converted into full-fledged university is an unequivocal proof of the vision and support of public and private sector.
Sukkur IBA University is a distinct institution compared to other universities of Pakistan. Few examples are suffice to quote; meticulously skilled management and team members, sufficiently equipped smart classrooms and computer labs, mammoth financial resources, highly qualified manpower and teaching faculty, research based and innovative initiatives, close liaison with private sector organizations for enabling students hands on experience and apprenticeship opportunities, local and international scholarship opportunities for students, and faculty and ancillary staff are the main attributes of Sukkur IBA University that rises the scale of it as compared to other higher educational institutions across the country. However, the educational institute is lacking in few domains which are the prerequisites for employees’ growth, accelerated performance and job satisfaction level.
It is an inevitable fact that the fate of the institution glorifies or fades away with the vision and policies of leadership. Nisar Siddiqui streamlined a way for the people of Pakistan without having any traits of prejudice, bigotry or venality. He made the impossible, possible, and provided an unparalleled opportunity of education for the downtrodden people of the society.
Today, Sukkur IBA University is brimmed with students belonging to middle class families, who in return change the course of their fate with reference to having quality education from the university. However, there are a number of projects in the pipeline which require the mammoth enthusiasm and fervor to keep Siddiqui’s Legacy going on. A man who dares to undertake the reigns of the well-established institution should have administrative, innovative, leadership, managerial and sharply focused socio-political skills to meet the current, forthcoming and unforeseen challenges. In the current era, only Sukkur IBA University is considered to be an institute that can change the society through transformational mode. A traditional way of dealing with the affairs of university will not harness any result, but a man equipped with international exposure and well cognizant with local, regional, national and international community can keep the system going on.
It is also a fact that Pakistan is having no death of such personalities that can undertake responsibilities and produce desired results. Hence, scavenger hunt in the case of head of Sukkur IBA University must be dealt with a prudent and sagacious approach. Merely filling the position with a traditional recruitment approach can disfigure the skeleton system of the institute which is having a pivotal role in the education sector of the country.
The role of Higher Education Commission is quite significant in the present scenario. HEC has the capacity to help the government in hiring the right man for the right job. A person who can effectively implement the policies of erstwhile leadership, and accelerate the contemporary growth of the university; is all that is needed for the prosperity of the institution in particular and educational sector of the country in general. This latter step will prove that Pakistan has the capacity to undertake the fate of institutions in the larger interest of nation with unbreakable legacy of institutional development.
In addition to the support of Higher Education Commission, a regulatory body of the state, it is also mandatory to have support of Provincial and National Governments to help the society by undertaking the financial and administrative onus of Sukkur IBA University. It is a prerogative of the provincial government to keep itself closely knitted with the educational sector and oversee its perpetual development. Perhaps no society without the development in the education sector can embrace success and glory.
The private sector through its “Corporate Social Responsibility” should continue supporting Sukkur IBA University stance; as at the end the graduates of the university are end-users of industry. Hence, the domestic industry should treat it as an integral asset; furthermore, the latter should also invest in the professional education domain for the maximum individual and collective benefits of the society. A child is the father of a man; industry with ceaseless, painstaking and relentless efforts can prove fidelity with the society, for contributing in socioeconomic development.
Indeed Nisar Siddiqui developed a system which is required to be undertaking by the forerunners of the society. Man is mortal and can depart, but in case of a system it is not organic and immortal, and can turn the fate of the institutions across the human society. It is also a fact that the world community is rich with such high quality institutions and overseeing their growth is not a novel to them, but in case of Pakistan, only few institutions along with Sukkur IBA University are up to the international standards, hence it is our collective challenge to keep the university flourished. Failure of its development will never give us a chance to witness a change in the overall educational system of the country; resulting in society decay and destructions.
The Vice Chancellor is also required to address the educational issues as per Sustainable Development Goals. Sukkur IBA University is equipped with more than ninety PhD Scholars (eighty under study abroad) in all disciplines, hence working as per SGDs goals, can make the institute at par with the reputed institutes of the globe. In this pursuit, the donor agencies, international community, local and international industry, civil society, bureaucracy and most importantly Media has to come forward to help the new Chairperson of Sukkur IBA University. Expecting such huge results from one person would be a utopian dream; hence all the stakeholders have to play a collective role to undertake the cherished legacy of Nisar Siddiqui.
The relevant stakeholders are required to first seek the replacement from the IBA Community which is already a forerunner and shoulder to shoulder with Vice Chancellor. They are well cognizant with ongoing short-term, midterm and long term policies. Hiring a person outside of the IBA community will have to spend sufficient amount time to digest the ongoing plans. Indeed, IBA needs a person equipped with administrative and modern research ecology skills; who is well connected with the local and national circle which intend to ameliorate the education sector of Pakistan.
Selection of a right person for a right job at the right moment can transform the university into an epitome of success. Indeed failure of finding a right person for IBA Chair will equate to demise of Nisar Siddiqui’s legacy as well. It is time to overcome the leadership dilemma with collective will and wisdom, for getting rid of all the burgeoning socioeconomic issues of the country.