Former principal of Punjab University College of Information and Technology (PUCIT) Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar has been appointed as new vice chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore.
One of the plagues afflicting education system in Pakistan is that positions at the helm in the academic institutes are not allocated based upon merit. Nepotism backed by political expediency has always defined appointment of top positions in the universities and that is why education system in Pakistan has always been observed to be in shambles.
However, in the PTI-led “Naya Pakistan”, positivity seems reflecting itself and merit in education system seems trumping itself against favoritism as the Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has approved appointment of Dr Syed Mansoor Sarwar for the post of vice chancellor of the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, on the recommendation of VC search committee.
As per reports, the committee had given Dr Sarwar more marks than the other two shortlisted candidates for the post of vice chancellor.
An official told Kenznews, “The Higher Education Department is likely to issue the notification of Dr Sarwar’s appointment shortly as the governor has signed on the summary after the CM’s approval.”
Credit goes to PTI-led government as Mr Buzdar, unlike his predecessor (Shahbaz Sharif), followed the search committee recommendation by appointing the candidate who topped the merit list and thus upheld merit in top academic appointment.
It is reported that the committee had given 90 marks to Dr Sarwar, the former principal of Punjab University College of Information and Technology (PUCIT), 88 to Prof Dr Waqar Mahmood, executive director KICS-UET, Lahore, and 87 to Prof Dr Akhtar Mahboob, VC of Khwaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology, Rahim Yar Khan.
Overview of Dr Sarwar’s academic career
Dr Sarwar is regarded as one of the finest academic administrators who will join his alma mater as its highest officer 38 years after finishing his BSc in Electrical Engineering (EE) in 1981. After serving as a lecturer in the EE department for less than a year, he proceeded to the USA for higher studies in January 1983.
Dr. Sarwar earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA, in 1985 and 1988, respectively. He has over 31 years of post-PhD experience of teaching at institutions of higher education in USA, Kuwait, and Pakistan, including 11 years as a tenured Associate Professor of EECS at the University of Portland, Portland, Oregon. He also served LUMS as Professor of Computer Science and Head of Computer Science Department for three years from 2001 to 2004. He was Head of Computer Science and Associate Dean of Science and Technology at UMT from January 2005 to April 2006.
Dr. Sarwar also served as a Principal of the Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT) for over 12 years and reached superannuation in 2018. He uplifted PUCIT from a subpar undergraduate college to one of the finest in the country in undergraduate and graduate education in computing and GIS. He is currently Vice Chancellor of Qarshi University. Dr Sarwar has also served in various national bodies such as HEC, PITB, National ICT R&D Fund (currently Ignite), and NCEAC.
Apart from this, Dr Sarwar has authored over 40 international papers and six books on UNIX and Linux published in the USA by Addison-Wesley and CRC Press/Taylor & Francis. His books have been used in over 200 US colleges and universities, including the University of Texas at Austin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Arizona, Stevens Tech, University of California at Santa Barbara, and Syracuse University. These books are also being taught in several other countries, including Canada, UK, and Australia. The Chinese and Spanish translations of his books are being used in China, Hong Kong, Spain, and Mexico. More than 50,000 copies of his books have been sold throughout the world. His latest book, Linux: The Textbook, Second Edition was published by CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, Florida, USA on September 18, 2018. It is reported that the US Navy is using his book, UNIX: The Textbook, Third Edition, for one of its training programs. Recently, BookAuthority has ranked his book as one of the 13 best Linux Mint books of all time.