Egypt: Professors Disciplined, Denied Sceintific Expeditions
|Tuesday, November 28,2006 00:00|
The Egyptian Parliament will discuss, in its upcoming meetings, an urgent report submitted by the MB Parliamentary Bloc to the Minister of Higher Education after the chairman of Beni Suef University, south of Cairo, referred three teaching staff members to a disciplinary panel on charges of overseeing the Free Student Union election.
Abdullatif Qotb, a Muslim Brotherhood MP who lodged the report, said in a statement to Ikhwanweb, that this step contravenes the constitution and illustrates that the university administration is run from outside its premises, adding that it is used by government apparatuses to settle an old score with its political adversaries.
Earlier this week, the Head of the Disciplinary Panel and Advisor to the Beni Suef University, Dr. Mohammed Abdul Hamid Abu Zaid, decided to postpone the disciplinary procedures against these three professors to Sunday December 3, 2006, after the professors complained that the panel didn’t notify them of the reasons for being disciplined; they also asked for time to get their defense team ready for the case.
It is worth mentioning that the chairman of Beni Suef University, Dr. Ahmed Rif’at, ordered that three of the teaching staff members from the Faculty of Science be disciplined for their role in overseeing the free student union elections. The three professors are: Professor of botany Dr. Emad Ali Al Sherif, Professor of Geology Dr. Ali Korany Selim, and Dr. Shaaban Ali Kamel the professor at the Chemistry department. A delegation of three prominent professors, one of them is also an MP, met with the university chairman in an attempt to mediate to end the problem, but he informed them that the referral of the professors to disciplinary panel was made through a memo referred to the dean of the Faculty of Science, Dr. Ahmed Al Ghandour, in which he demanded that they be disciplined; the university president asked the delegation to wait for the findings of the investigations. This is the first case of such a kind that professors are referred to disciplinary investigations on participating in student elections or overseeing the free student union election.
One of the professors due to be disciplined said that he, along with his two colleagues, were surprised to know of these investigations, as the vote count was done near the dean office but he didn’t tell the students that it was prohibited, nor was there a decision from the faculty to ban us from participating in the student activities. For further persecution, the Dean of the Faculty of Science Dr. Ahmed el Ghandour refused to endorse papers of a six month scientific expedition posted and financed by a Spanish university to Dr. Emad Al Sheriff, under the pretext of waiting for the findings of the investigations.
Qotb pointed out that any professor has the final say within the university campus; therefore, he is immune against being disciplined for just voicing his opinion or for participation in student activities.