POST TIME: 18 June, 2021 06:01:28 PM
A humanitarian vice-chancellor
We strongly believe that a vice-chancellor is first a teacher and then a vice-chancellor. If they are not able to perform the duties of the vice-chancellor through teacher-minded activities, then the post may be vested in a non-teaching person.
Dr. Matiur Rahman

A humanitarian vice-chancellor

Professor Dr. A.H.M. Mustafizur Rahman

The university education system is at the top of the education structure of our country. University teachers are highly respected by the people of the society, because, they act as the lighthouse of the nation. The vice-chancellor means an ideal person with humane values ​​who lives in the light of everyone’s respect. But the news that we watch, read and listen about some of them in the mass media made us frustrated. However, we do not know much about their involvement in irregularities or the influence of the changing complex political system.

We strongly believe that a vice-chancellor is first a teacher and then a vice-chancellor. If they are not able to perform the duties of the vice-chancellor through teacher-minded activities, then the post may be vested in a non-teaching person. So the university teachers have to come forward to solve this problem. However, despite all this, we become hopeful when we see that there are some exceptional vice-chancellors among them who are leading a university with their own talent, wisdom, personality and without any irregularities. Such a vice-chancellor is Professor Dr. A.H.M. Mustafizur Rahman. He is the current Vice-Chancellor of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh.

Professor Dr. A.H.M. Mustafizur Rahman took over his duty as the fifth vice-chancellor of the University in 2017 appointed by the President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. From then he has been serving as the vice-chancellor of the university for more than three and a half years. During his tenure, he has been running the university successfully. There are no allegations of corruption, nepotism or irregularities against him. Rather, under his dynamic leadership, the university is moving forward. To understand his success or leadership, it is relevant here to know about his contribution to Rajshahi University from where he served around 34 years.

He played an important role in teaching and academic activities at Rajshahi University. He was a member of the Senate, elected member of the Academic Council, member of the Proctorial Body, Head of the Department, House Tutor of residential Hall and three times elected member of the Teachers’ Association. He has also been the Head and Sub-Project Manager of the Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP). This experience of providing leadership in the field of education has been instrumental in running Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University as vice-chancellor.

To the students of Rajshahi University, he was a reliable guardian, source of inspiration and mentor. He was equally popular among the officials and employees of the university. He was very popular among the students. This popularity was not created by chance. His personality, ethics, leadership ability and above all his love and cooperation towards university family members made him a popular personality.

He is a philanthropic teacher. He stood by the side of the indigent students not only financially but also psychologically with patriarchal love. He treats the students as his son and daughter. Apart from these, he has a genuine affection for the poor people of society. He also helps the poor people in various ways including financial assistance.

Dr. Mustafizur Rahman is really a simple-minded people. A very recent incident reveals his simple-mindedness. All the educational institutions of the country have been closed for more than a year due to the government decision. For this, students are suffering a lot and hampered their education life. This thing constantly hurts him. When the students went to meet him demanding the reopening of the university, he said in simple faith, “I am ashamed to raise my salary after a month as the campus has been closed for a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic. I wonder how halal (permissible) this money is for me. But neither I nor we are responsible for this situation”. It indicates how honest, sincere and humane a vice-chancellor he is.

It is mentionable here that Professor Mustafiz had to struggle a lot from his younger age as his father was killed during the liberation war. His father was a martyred in the war of liberation. He didn’t even see his father’s dead body. As the eldest son of the family, he was responsible for the maintenance of everyone. He had to spend his days with great difficulty. His life was full of struggles. In the midst of this struggle he became first class first in the Master of Arts (M.A.) examination. He joined Rajshahi University in 1983 as a lecturer. Incidentally, his father was also a dedicated teacher who sacrificed his life for the liberation of our country.

In an interview he mentioned that his mother’s blessings are behind the success in his life. He has come so far today because of his mother’s prayers. He thinks that if anyone wants to succeed in life, he or she has to be great. And there is no substitute for hard work. He further mentioned that the love of people is the greatest achievement of his life. With this love and cooperation he is taking the university forward.

It is evident from the above description that Professor Dr. A.H.M Mustafizur Rahman’s success as vice-chancellor is due to his deep love for people. He learned to love people from his mother who has awarded as “Ratnogorva” mother. Although she lost her husband during the liberation war but she did not lose her morale even though she was helpless. She struggled a lot for her five sons to get higher education and taught them to acquire human qualities. All her five sons are established by their own talents.

So it can be said that with these human qualities, education, talent, love and leadership he has been making an outstanding contribution in the field of education. He got love of countless people. That is why he never insulted this love of people. This love gives him courage not to be unjust, not to be inhuman. He persevered in the way of truth and justice even in the face of adversity, because he loves this country, the people of this country with absolute compassion. He always bears in his heart the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to build the golden Bengal. To realize that dream, he has been working tirelessly as the vice-chancellor to protect the environment of education and to improve the quality of education.

The writer is Research Consultant, Human Development Research Centre (HDRC), Dhaka.