Nazmul Ahsan joined the university as its vice-chancellor on June 14, 2017
Officials and teachers of Begum Rokeya University (BRU) in Rangpur have brought allegations of irregularity, negligence of duty, corruption and abuse of power against Vice-Chancellor (VC) Nazmul Ahsan Kalim Ullah and his personal secretary Aminur Rahman.
Since his appointment, the vice-chancellor has been absent on campus for 478 days of the total 631 working days thus far. The Teachers’ Association of the university has united to form a movement against the absence and negligence of duty of the vice-chancellor.
According to BRU administrative department sources, Nazmul Ahsan joined the university as its vice-chancellor on June 14, 2017. President Abdul Hamid appointed him on three conditions. One of the key terms was that he had to be present full-time on campus.
However, he did not fulfil that condition. He has typically come to campus two to four times a month by Biman flight from Dhaka, and gone right back a short time later by grabbing another flight. Although there is a bungalow for him on the campus, he has preferred to stay in Dhaka instead of the university’s official vice-chancellor residence.
Of his 631 total working days thus far, Nazmul Ahsan has been absent for 478 days. From June to December in 2017, he was absent for 131 days. In 2018, from January to December, he was absent for 295 days. Similarly, he was absent for 52 of the 59 days in January and February of this year.
He has spent only 21 days in his designated Bungalow on the BRU campus in his entire tenure.
Meanwhile, the academic and administrative activities of the university have become completely immobile due to his absence and lack of performing his duty. The chain of command has broken up. In case of emergency, staff and officials have to go to Dhaka for the signing of important documents by the vice-chancellor, said multiple university officials.
The teachers’ association of BRU has been raising concerns over the irregularities for quite some time. In a general meeting of the association on Tuesday, teachers have expressed grief and frustration over the matter, many of whom are keen to form a movement to remove the ineffective vice-chancellor from office.
On terms of anonymity, several teachers said they are planning to hand a memo to the vice-chancellor demanding his full-time presence on the campus. If the attempt fails, then they will declare a continuous movement for his removal.
When contacted, Teachers’ Association President Professor Gazi Mazharul Anwar confirmed that teachers have expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the vice-chancellor.
Teachers’ Association General Secretary Khairul Alam Sumon has also echoed similar feelings, adding that BRU teachers are discussing their next course of action against the vice-chancellor.
On the other hand, Tabiur Rahman, former general secretary of the Teacherss Association and the closest ally of the vice-chancellor, said: “We want the vice-chancellor to be present on campus at all times, but the truth is that he is not being able to deliver that. However, it is not creating any problems in university’s regular activities.”
Rangpur Metropolitan Awami League General Secretary Tushar Kanti Mandal said: “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has gifted the disregarded people of Ranpur with a university but it is unfortunate that the vice-chancellor does not show up to work. I personally tried to contact him by phone but he did not receive my calls. I am hoping for the President’s intervention to take action against this vice-chancellor.”
Dhaka Tribune tried to contact BRU Vice-Chancellor Nazmul Ahsan by phone several times, but he did not respond to the calls.
Corruption allegation against VC’s personal secretary
BRU Officers’ Association has also started an indefinite work abstention from Monday morning demanding the removal of the vice-chancellor’s personal secretary (PS) Aminur Rahman.
The officers’ association has brought graft and abuse of power allegations against PS Aminur, and pressed home for their 11-point demand including his removal and paying 44 months of arrears to 58 university officials and staff.
All administrative activities of BRU have been suspended due to the strike which started at 11am on Monday. University officials were seen gathering outside their offices.
In this regard, Officers’ Association General Secretary Mostafizur Rahman said: “We have submitted several memorandums to Registrar Abu Hena for realizing our 11-point demand. Though he reassured us, our demands were never met. Officials had no choice but to start work abstention.”
On the other hand, corruption-accused PS Aminur Rahman claimed the allegations brought against him are totally false.
Dhaka Tribune tried to contact both Registrar Abu Hena and Vice-Chancellor Nazmul Ahsan, but neither were found present at their university offices, nor did they receive our phone calls.