LUMS on hunt for a new VC, hires services of international search firm


LAHORE: Following the resignation of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Dr Sohail H Naqvi, the university is currently searching for a new VC to fill in the shoes.

For the purpose, LUMS has hired services of Heidrick & Struggles–a global executive search firm headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

Advertisements for the position, which are available online as well as in the different newspapers, say that initial screening of applicants will continue until March 15, 2018.

According to the official LUMS website, Dr Naqvi announced his resignation on November 21, 2017, saying that he would be leaving his position as the Vice Chancellor effective August 1, 2018, to join the University of Central Asia (UCA) as its founding Rector.

UCA has been founded by the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and Aga Khan, who is also the Chancellor of the University. It will be a premier university in the region with three campuses.

Dr Naqvi was the 4th Vice Chancellor of LUMS, who joined the university in July 2013.

Dr Naqvi’s tenure was largely successful considering the university made several strides, improved its ranking and research capabilities, established a tenure system and launched two new schools as well as multidisciplinary initiatives including the LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship, the Centre for Water Informatics and Technology and streamlining of University systems and processes.

However, it was marked with several controversies and low points. In 2014, a student accused an instructor of sexual harassment. Following this, it was alleged that the VC was not supportive of the student and instead defended the accused. Several members of the LUMS community, including students and alumni, demanded the immediate resignation of Dr Naqvi. However, the matter was later resolved and the instructor was relieved of his duties and a sexual harassment policy drafted.

In 2017, a student in the male hostels was found dead and it was believed that he had a seizure following a drug overdose. The matter received a lot of media attention and there was great pressure on the university and the VC. The university under the supervision of Dr Naqvi conducted raids in the hostels and schooled the students on drug abuse and its effects.

Expressing his thoughts on the resignation and his time at LUMS, Dr Naqvi said, “LUMS has been a fantastic journey and it has truly been a privilege, leading it and working with the faculty, staff and students on so many exciting initiatives. I look to complete the tasks on hand to help LUMS continue on its steep upward trajectory. LUMS is the pride of Pakistan and will always be very special to me.”