PhD

Ironic.

Only recently, I had shared two blog posts, one of them partially written by me, which may have been apparently perceived against acquiring a PhD degree. The most recent post was yesterday. Since then, I have been responding to people’s comments.

This morning, I received a call that my name has been proposed for the position of Vice Chancellor of a university in Karachi. A reputable name, it has a B-school, a law school and an IT school.

They asked me if depending on me being in town, an informal conversation could be arranged today. It won’t be a formal interview, I was told.

As much as it was unexpected and a potentially rewarding opportunity, I didn’t have a desire to leave my retirement peace and go back to the politicking of a workplace. All workplaces are politicking, aren’t they?

The other reason for reluctance was that my ideas in education are so radical that I could be a walking risk for anyone who even thinks of employing me.

On insistence, I agreed and reached the place.

The group owner and a trusted ex-VC (a respectable name) wanted to know my specific ideas of a possible university turnaround.

One after the other I explained what are some of the things that needed to be done: in teaching, research, leadership, HEC and global ranking, student placement, industry linkage, partnerships, reputation over a period, etc


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I also criticised the HEC role in placing a wrong emphasis on the PhD degree, when what our country really needed was good teaching faculty, and not researchers.

And how this misplaced emphasis at a time when the utility of PhD degree itself is eroding has deprived our educational institutions from the bright faculty and leadership.


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This is where they asked me what subject was my PhD in and from where?

Shocked, I said: No, I don’t have a PhD. I am a dropout.

They glanced at each other.

I could sense they wanted to locate and shoot the person who had referred me, knowing that HEC would want the VC to be a PhD degree-holder.

(Might be that somebody became impressed with my ideas about future.)

The industrialist stood up and said: Thank you. We’ll be in touch.

I knew we won’t be. This was end of our conversation.

Moral: Don’t write a post against PhD. It might come back to haunt you. That very week. 😛


Do not miss our Understanding Pakistan Series

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Wali Zahid is a futurist, disruptor, blogger, social media strategist, reformer, LinkedIn writer and author of iBook, Great Training in 10 Steps.

He runs a #Pakistan2050 hashtag on Twitter and appears on national TV on issues of significance to Pakistan. His claim to fame is this recent piece: Wali on The Pakistan 2050 Opportunity

On walizahid.com, he’s writing a series called How We Messed Up Pakistan.

As CEO of SkillCity, he coaches several Fortune-500 CEOs on leadership.

He’s founder of a global movement for humanizing medical education and practice.

He can be reached on Twitter @walizahid

  • Rehmat Ullah Kundi

    We should be concentrating on improving the quality of education from ground up (nursery) to Bachelor level. Only then we would be able to produce quality PhDs. Currently we are producing PhD like a commodity which is useless in most cases even in teaching let alone research. These PhDs then eye on lucrative positions instead of doing what they are supposed to be doing.

    • DR KHALID SHOUQ

      PRESENTLY VC’S R LOYAL TO BE SHOWBAZ SHARIF NOT WITH EDUCATION OR RESEARCH
      AND IN FUTURE THESE CRITERIA MAINTAIN….HOW U ASPECT FROM SHARIF ‘S FAMILY TO IMPROVE EDUCATION THEY THEM SELF MORALLY FINANCIALLY AND MANAGEMENT CORRUPT …..BIG AND MEGA PROJECTS R FULL OF CORRUPTION…..DIST MANAGEMENT POLICE AND OTHER SERVICES NOT PERFORM DUTIES ASSIGNING BY ARTICLE OF PAKISTAN …THEY R NOW ENGAGED IN RAMZAN BAZAR AND SASSTA BAZAR??????????????VC’S R AGENT OF CORRUPTION…

      • Wali Zahid

        This must be in response to news that VCs don’t need PhD degree in Punjab. Correct?

  • Frah Mukhtar

    Dear God! save that person who recommended Wali sb! He/she must have meant to do good to the university 🙂

  • joe chou

    with all due respect sir, didnt u promote urself as a “PhD” during some of your years like 99-2001 during ur stay at ILM/UMT ?

    • Wali Zahid

      Never! Waise bhi, i have never been a promoter type :p