KU’s first female acting vice chancellor after 71 years

Karachi: Prof Dr Nasira Khatoon, dean of the Faculty of Science, has been appointed as acting VC of KU as an interim arrangement until further orders.
Since 1951, for the first time in the history of the University of Karachi, a woman has been appointed as acting vice chancellor of the educational institution.
On Tuesday, the Sindh Universities & Boards Department issued a notification that in compliance with the January 26 orders of the Sindh High Court, Prof Dr Nasira Khatoon, dean of the Faculty of Science, has been appointed as acting VC of KU as an interim arrangement until further orders.

Last month, the court had directed the universities & boards secretary to file a compliance report within a week, and submit a detailed report about the appointment of an acting VC in the intervening period and the reconstitution of a search committee as directed by the court.
The court had also granted a week to KU for forwarding the names of 10 professors, according to the seniority list maintained by the university, to be placed before the chief minister to nominate one of them as acting VC. As per the seniority list, all the top faculty members are women: Nasira Khatoon, Samina Bano, Shagufta Shahzadi, Nusrat Idrees, Shaista Tabassum, Musarrat Jehan Yousuf, Anjum Parveen, Shahnaz Dawar, Hajra Tahir and Rehana Saeed.

Last month, the court had directed the university administration to forward the names of 10 professors, according to the seniority list, to the CM, so he could notify the most senior professor as acting VC until the appointment of a permanent one.

However, the then acting VC Dr Khalid Iraqi was not ready to leave office. Resultantly, the petitioner filed a contempt-of-court case against him. After the hearing, the court warned the universities & boards department that if it failed to implement the court’s decision, contempt proceedings would be initiated against the alleged contemnors.

Dr Nasira assumed charge of the KU VC office on Tuesday. She had done her PhD in 1994 in parasitology from KU’s Department of Zoology, while her field of specialisation is clinical and veterinary parasitology and pathology, and fish pathology.

She had completed her MSc in 1986 with first division from the Department of Zoology, and her BSc in 1983 with first division from the Apwa College for Women. She had served as the chairperson of the Department of Zoology from October 25, 2019 to November 3, 2020.

Dr Nasira was appointed as professor in the Department of Zoology on November 11, 2005, before which she had worked as associate professor from January 1, 2001 to November 10, 2005. She had served as assistant professor from March 28, 1994 to December 31, 2000.

She had been a lecturer in the department from March 9, 1994 to March 27, 1994, before which she had worked as a museum taxonomist from October 29, 1991 to March 8, 1994. Dr Nasira has been an ad-hoc lecturer from March 31, 1990 to October 28, 1991, and had served the department as a cooperative teacher from April 30, 1989 to March 30, 1990. She had also worked as a museum assistant from June 1, 1987 to May 1, 1988.

To date, seven students have completed their PhDs under her supervision, while three students have completed MPhil under her supervision. Besides being the dean of the Faculty of Science, she has also been the acting dean of the Faculty of Engineering.