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Punjab University faculty opposes media studies dept in Gujranwala

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Punjab University faculty opposes media studies dept in Gujranwala

Lahore: The controversy over establishment of a separate department of Mass Communication and Media Studies by the Punjab University administration at the Gujranwala Campus of the university has deepened after some faculty members passed a resolution against the new independent department.

It is learnt that the resolution was passed during a meeting at the Punjab University's Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), which was chaired by its director Prof Dr Mugheesuddin Sheikh a couple of weeks ago.

A senior PU professor, seeking anonymity, said the concerns of some of the ICS faculty members were forwarded to Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran. He said two faculty members of the ICS had expressed serious concerns over the issue, saying that by opening a separate department, the university would be awarding two different degrees to its students while no other department of mass communication was compatible to the ICS in the sub-continent.

Quoting examples of the PU Law College and the Hailey College of Commerce, the ICS faculty members maintained that though disciplines of law and commerce were being offered at the university's Gujranwala Campus, yet there were no separate departments established for this purpose.

"The PU is not offering two different degrees in these disciplines and why it was all set to offer two different degrees to its students in mass communication?," questioned one of the ICS faculty members. He said at the ICS, the students were following the semester system whereas there was an annual system at Gujranwala Campus. He was of the view that there was a common perception among the faculty members that the move was aimed at accommodating a recently retired ICS faculty member, Dr Muhammad Shafiq Jullandhry, by appointing him as head of the department at Gujranwala Campus.

It is important to mention that during the ICS faculty meeting, one of the faculty members clarified that the faculty was not concerned if he (Dr Jullandhry) was appointed as coordinator programme.

A PU official, while commenting over the issue, said the ICS director had never sent proceedings of faculty meetings to the VC in the past, adding that sending minutes of this particular meeting was an evidence of the fact that he himself was against the establishment of a separate department at Gujranwala Campus. He said a notification, regarding appointment of Dr Jullandhry, was issued by the Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan when the VC was out of country, adding that Dr Kamran had not allowed his (Dr Jullandhry's) appointment as head of department at PU Gujranwala Campus.

When contacted, Dr Naeem refused to comment saying: "I am busy today you can discuss this issue on Monday but not today". Dr Muhammad Shafiq Jullandhry was not available for comments.

VC Dr Mujahid Kamran confirmed that he had received proceedings of the ICS faculty members meeting in which some members had expressed concerns over establishment of a separate department of mass communication at Gujranwala Campus. He said he had forwarded the proceedings to the director general (DG) Gujranwala Campus for comments, adding further details would be available after he received a reply from the DG. The News

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