Faculties body demands non-interference in KU director selection

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We’ve been paying heavy price in past

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 11: The Kuwait University Faculty Association warns about political and partisan interference in the selection of the university’s director, reports Al-Qabas daily. In a press statement, the association said, “Over the past years, Kuwait University has been paying heavy price – at the academic and administrative level – of being the only public university in the country.” Perhaps the most prominent evidence to this interference are the attempts to influence the selection of university officials, especially its director. This was a clear reason for bad university decisions, and the decline of the administrative and academic level caused by poor choices that were made according to crude political interference in the work of the selection committees. This was reflected in the decline of the university’s classification, although it is the oldest university in the region.

The poor selection of its leaders made many young universities in the surrounding countries outperform it. Today, after the university suffered more than two years of an administrative vacuum that has expanded from the position of the university’s director to most of its leadership positions, we denounce the attempts to influence the selection of the new university director, as the circulating news indicates a push towards a particular candidate. Indeed, some of the names presented in the news circle are marred by many question marks, as it is necessary to verify the academic level of these individuals as well as their administrative history at the university, so that the administration is not assigned to anyone other than its people.

The university today is in dire need of choosing an academic personality with administrative efficiency, and without political orientation, so that the university can be rescued from further decline. Political and partisan interference has always been a negative factor in the academic decision, and even for the students. We express our pain about the successive crises that the higher education sector is going through as a result of poor educational decisions. The confidence we had in the members of the director’s selection committee is shaken. We demand the necessity of choosing a university director away from partisan compromises, as what was circulated indicates the decision of the director’s selection committee to extend the application period for the position, as if it came to serve only certain names. This calls for intervention to save the university from these political calculations.”

The association appealed to the political leadership to distance the university from any interference that might lead it to further decline. It stressed that, “Today what is required is to restore the academic reputation of Kuwait University so that it can return to being a beacon and icon of higher education in the country and so that Kuwait can achieve its development ambition in investing in creative human capital. It is therefore necessary to prevent political and partisan interference in influencing the selection of the director of Kuwait University”. The association concluded its statement by saying, “As we trust the desire of His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled to achieve human development and improve the educational level, and we trust the efforts of the Minister of Oil and Minister of Higher Education Dr. Muhammad Al-Fares in the good selection of the university’s director, we urge the need to deal firmly with any partisan interference, the outcome of which is usually catastrophic at the university level”. In the end, the association highlighted its legal and moral responsibility, in accordance with the recent instructions of the Cabinet to follow all means and procedures guaranteed by law to address corruption of all kinds, and to maintain integrity in all other official bodies.

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