The issue of understaffing at the University of Colombo (UoC) was discussed at the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) meeting held on Thursday (21). COPE Chairman Professor Ranjith Bandara brought up the 271 vacancies for academic staff. In response, UoC Vice-Chancellor Professor H D Karunaratne said, “Primarily due to the financial precariousness of the university, and driven by reduced public funding, hiring full-time workers was at stake over the last two years.” However, VC Karunaratne said that out of the 271 openings, 34 positions have been filled.
He affirmed that the concern has been addressed and the recruitment process within the university had returned to normalcy. UoC officials present at the gathering confirmed that the management had adopted measures to expand the cadre of staffing, and was awaiting the green-light from the governing authority as directed by Prof Bandara. In addition, Chairman of the University Grants Commission (UGC) Senior Professor Sampath Amarathunga said that the UoC is at an integral point where there is a need for more workforce for the positions of web master, brand manager, and sports director. Prof Amarathunga added that the said matter would also be forwarded to the governing authority to be addressed in due time. (NA)