Poet Muhammad Samad prefers liberal outlook over funds for improving DU
Poet Dr Muhammad Samad is also an educator and social scientist. He has served as the director of Social Work and Research Institute, University of Dhaka; adjunct faculty at Winona State University, USA; vice-chancellor at University of Information and Technology, Dhaka. In this month of May he is to complete his first full year as the pro-vice chancellor of University of Dhaka. He has shared his thoughts about the present status of the university and his personal experiences as a part of the university administration to The Daily Observer.
Firstly, please tell us about the University of Dhaka as it is closing in on its first century since inception in 1921....
The University of Dhaka is the oldest and largest university in the country. I take pride in it for having been a student here first and foremost. Then the love I receive as a poet, cultural activist and as a teacher from my countrymen is also due to this university. I would like to thank the President Advocate Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister and daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Hasina ahead of the first hundredth year of the university for giving me the rare opportunity to serve as a pro-Vice Chancellor here before this auspicious event.
As a well-known poet and also as a pro-VC do you find any dissimilarity between the poet and the administrator?
I would like to state at first that this kind of administration as a pro-VC involves educational administration and I am a Professor at University of Dhaka by profession. I have also been a VC for four years at the first IT-based university of the country, University of Information and Technology for four years and had managed to elevate its standard by two grades through teamwork and daylong hardwork. On the other hand I am just a simple poet of Bangla language. But I am not alone in my field of expertise. Great bard the Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore founded the world-famous Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India in 1921. Among others are- Dante, Italian poet and also an influential administrator; Mao Tse Tung, a skilled poet and founder of modern People's Republic of China; Karl Marx, the enchanting poet who founded the school of socialist economy; Léopold Sédar Senghor, first president of Senegal and Nobel laureate for poetical works; Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Indian Prime Minister and one of the greatest Hindi-language poets. Then there are our very own Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who we revere as the poet of eternal poetry for independence and his daughter Sheikh Hasina who is being referred to as the poet of progress.
This May marks your first complete year as a pro-VC of the university. How do you feel serving as a pro-VC here?
Like elsewhere in the world university administration in Bangladesh revolves around the Vice-Chancellor. Besides according to University Act 1973, teachers of the four top universities of the country in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chittagong and Jahangirnagar in Savar have the right to express their thoughts freely. Against this right enjoyed by all the faculty members in these universities the rights and powers of the Vice-Chancellors are without boundaries. Thus the role played by pro-VCs can become efficient and productive along with the contributions of the senate, syndicate and academic councils if the Vice Chancellor happens to be rich in wisdom, gentleness, sagacity, dreams and believes in teamwork.
To be continued ...