FUTA asks UGC Chairperson to resign
January 19, 2015 03:21 pm
The Federation of University Teachers’ Associations (FUTA) today called for the immediate resignation of Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama as the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC), while charging her with misconduct and abuse of power.
In a letter addressed to Professor Hirimburegama, FUTA said that its Executive Committee in an emergency meeting held on Friday (16) unanimously agreed to request her to step down from her position and warned that her failure to do so would create a crisis situation in the university system.
FUTA said it has brought several serious issues to her notice for some time and that she has not responded satisfactorily to any of these issues.
“Additionally, your actions in recent times have brought the office of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to disrepute. Those actions constitute abuse of your position as Chairperson of the UGC,” the letter said.
1. Campaigning for a Presidential candidate misusing your position and authority as Chair of the UGC and using your position to influence university academics to sign a petition in favour of Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse and publicly campaigning on his behalf, thereby subjecting to partisan politicization the important public office you hold.
2. Ignoring instances of clear conflict of interests such as accepting positions to the boards of various private higher educational institutions and your failure to recuse yourself from the matter relating to the appointment of the Colombo University Vice-Chancellor in which your spouse was an applicant. This coupled with the fact that your spouse was eventually appointed although he received the lowest votes in the University Council compels us to conclude that you manipulated the process in his favour.
3. Blocking of the appointment of a qualified and deserving candidate to the post of Professor of Surgery at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, during your tenure as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo, and further obstructing the course of justice and misusing your position as UGC Chair by refusing to take remedial action in this instance, even when advised to do so by the then Secretary to H.E the President Mr Lalith Weeratunga.