The academic committee meeting of the sociology department of Chittagong University has not been held for more than three months due to quorum crisis, hampering academic activities.
Usually, such meeting is held once a month. Decisions on all sorts of academic activities -- including examinations, class schedules and study tours -- are taken at the meeting, university sources said.
The final examination of honours third year has remained postponed, while first and second year classes are yet to start.
Moreover, fourth year final examinations were not held, which were scheduled to begin on February 7.
Students of the department expressed their concern over the issue, and blamed the teachers for the crisis. The meeting has not been held as the teachers have been divided into two factions, they said.
One of the factions is loyal to the department head while the other is not, they added.
A student, requesting not to be named, said, “Our third year final examination was supposed to be held on January 3, but it has been postponed.”
“We do not see any initiatives from the university authorities to resolve the problem,” he said.
“Our batchmates from other departments have already attended their exams,” he added.
The students said they requested the department chairman to resolve the crisis, but he blamed the teachers for the situation.
Many students questioned why they should suffer due to the internal problems of their teachers.
A senior teacher, wishing not to be named, alleged that the chairman did not consult with senior teachers, except for one, while calling an academic committee meeting.
“He [chairman] can call a meeting every fortnight, but why didn't he do so?” said the teacher.
Asked, Prof SM Monirul Islam, chairman of the department, said he calls meeting whenever it is needed for the department.
The last academic committee meeting was held at the end of October last year. Later on November 27, another meeting was called, where only six teachers were present.
To fulfil the quorum, at least 50 percent of teachers have to be present at the academic meeting. As the department has 21 teachers, at least 11 teachers need to be present.
The chairman said he wrote to the vice chancellor about the matter. “I am hopeful about a solution,”he added.
He said teachers can complain to the university authorities if there are any allegations against him. “Without doing so, they refrain from joining the academic committee meeting.”
VC Prof Iftekhar Uddin Chowdhury said he handed over the responsibility of resolving the crisis to the social science faculty dean.
Faculty Dean Prof Farid Uddin Ahmed said he discussed the issue with a section of the department teachers on February 5. Efforts are going on to end the deadlock, he added.