Friday, March 8, 2013

FUTA opposes nomination of UGC chief’s spouse

The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) yesterday has opposed the inclusion of University Grants Commission (UGC) Chairperson Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama’s husband, Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama for the Colombo University Vice Chancellor’s post.
The Colombo University VC post fell vacant as Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama assumed duties as the UGC Chairman on Feb. 01.
FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama of the Colombo University’s Science Faculty, Prof. Laskhman Dissanayake of the Colombo University’s Arts Faculty and Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa of the Law Faculty and Dean of the Kotalawala Defence University had been nominated for the post.
"Normally the university calls for applications from suitable persons for the VC  post," Dr. Dewasiri said, adding those three persons had sent in their applications.
The University Council is scheduled to meet on March 11 to endorse the nominations which will be sent to the UGC thereafter.
Dr. Dewasiri said that when those names were sent for the UGC chairman’s approval, there would be a conflict of interests as one of nominees was the husband of the incumbent UGC chairman.
The appointment is made by the President.
Dr. Dewasiri charged that the appointment of VCs to had become highly politicized.
"It has been so since Karunasena Kodituwakku was appointed the VC of the Sri Jayewardenepura University by the then UNP government in 1980s."
Kodituwakku had not been a senior lecturer at that time but appointed VC because of his political connections. Extract from Online Island