By Prof. Humayun Ghauri
“The two things that can satisfy the soul are a person and a story; and even a story must be about a person.” opines G.K Chesterton. Today I intend to explore the profile of a person; Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin the vice chancellor, University of Gujrat
. He is a legend in his own life time. His life is a progress and not a station. He conjures up great visions and is perpetually on the move; always in practice; scaling ever new heights. He keeps his associates and affiliates also on the move, towards achievements; towards pinnacle of glory. His motto appears to be in Browning’s words “the best is yet to be”.
Grafted on to the budding University of Gujrat
(UOG) by the government, earlier on, as the Vice Chancellor, in Sept 2006; he has shaped history with his stupendous courage, matchless brain power, unflappable will and iron determination.“The brave find a home in every land” says a proverb.
This son of the soil initiated his higher education at university of Karachi way back in 1965 by earning his MA in sociology /social work. He was later on groomed in the best possible universities of USA .In 1969 he passed his MA in demography /social science, from the University of Chicago with flying colors. In 1979 he successfully achieved his PhD from university of Michigan, by bringing out his thesis on “the impact of community and program factors on the fertility of rural Pakistani women,” which he based on Pakistan fertility survey data under the supervision of professors Yuzuru Takeshita and Frank M. Andrews. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nothing great is produced suddenly, since not even the grape or the fig.”
His traineeship was again conducted in many prestigious universities of USA. In 1968 John Hopkins University on survey methods; in 1969 university of Chicago; 1977 university of Michigan; 1978 university of Chicago. He was left no raw diamond by them.
He has achieved to his credit fellowship of Carolina population center – university of North Carolina (1979-1984) and fellowship of Battle Memorial Institute at Seattle, Washington (1977-1981). He co-chairs International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) since 2003 to present. He wields membership of three remarkable international associations: International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) 1979 to present; International Association of Survey Statisticians (IASS) 1980-to present; Population Association of America (PAA) 1977 to present.
His academic appointments inter alia include Clinical Professorship and Program Directorship at Columbia University since 2003.
His honors include: Ford Foundation Fellowship of PhD studies at the University of Michigan (1976-1979); USAID – SIDA Fellow ship for master studies at university of Chicago 1968-1969; merit scholarship university of Karachi 1962-1965.
He holds 37 years of national and international experience in the field of Population, Public Health and Development; 23 years in the United Nation System ; for several years in Academia and in Research Institutions. His jobs prior to coming to Pakistan have been mostly in prestigious international institutions ,and he has moved around the world, besides USA in countries like Egypt, Uganda, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Jordan, Somalia. His publications of international standard are more than thirty, by now. In the words of Socrates, “Fame is the perfume of heroic deeds.”
With a curriculum vitae (CV) spanning to the size of a booklet, he has proved his worth by being tested and tried in many a situation around the world ; with credentials of a progressive intellectual ,matchless administrator; disbursing his academic excellence around the world and simultaneously adding on to the reservoir of his knowledge, experience and expertise. In the words of George Eliot, “strong souls live like fire hearted suns to spend their strength in furthest striving action.”
It is no less than a miracle that this gem of a man; with sterling qualities of head and heart; is available in the UOG as helmsman to steer the ship of UOG
towards new horizons of creativity, growth and development. It is his undoubted genius in tandem with the blessings of God almighty that within a short span of four years, he has propelled the UOG unbelievably rather miraculously on the way to his destined goal of a world class university . Kudos to his accomplishments. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s worlds, “when we see a soul whose acts are all regal, graceful and pleasant as roses, we must thank God that such things can be, and are …”
What has been his modus operandi? It is an admixture of dedicated committed work combined with diligence; spiced with emotions of love and devotion. His strategy has been to select a galaxy of scholars, whom he singlehandedly inspired and enthused with a spirit of honest labor, devotion to duty, conscientious work; thus harnessing their intelligence, creative skills, expertise and dexterity towards the rich growth of the UOG
. Again according to Emerson “There can be no excess to love, none to knowledge none to beauty, when these attributes are considered in the purest sense. The soul refuses all limits .It affirms in man always an optimism, never a pessimism...”
Dr Nizam is charismatic in the sense that with the available resources and stuff at hand, he is conjuring up a myth of a grand design: symbiosis of knowledge and research; interspersed with high ideals, spirituality and humanism; shaping them up into a mosaic of modern paradigm.
In Dante’s words,
Love kindled from virtue; if its flame be shown
Of power to light a kindred flame will prove.
In spite of all the honors heaped on to him; as a person he is simple unassumingly simple; of course kind hearted, benign, charitable, and compassionate, but all the same gracious and generous .Therein lies his greatness as a person . In the words of Shakespeare, “some are born great some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Of the three phrases of Shakespeare, the terminal one speaks of Nizam’s greatness.
Research activities have shaped his aesthetics towards novelty, newness, innovation and invention .He is always ready to introduce new initiatives, new drives, new strategies and tactics into the Academia. In a way he is an iconoclast; in that his approaches to running of university are very novel, if not unique. Bypassing traditional canons, he thrusts into professional business with dramatically original innovative moves. In Cervantes words “diligence is mother of success; and experience constantly verifies its truth.”
In spite of all his qualities as a pragmatic intellectual, the basics streaks and traits of his character remain mystical. This towering figure of a great humanist, wields an element of respect and love in his heart, for all and sundry .A pleasant smile of confidence and generosity, on his face goes, a long way in dispelling fear and gloom from a jittery, problem- ridden person. He not only reinvigorates confidence in individuals but simultaneously moves his available resources for the redress of grievances of the complainants and in most cases comes to offer viable solutions to the problems. He is a great troubleshooter .It is all because “Love never fails.”
He wields a fantastic balance between Idealism and Realism. “Sky is the limit”, may be his vision but his metaphysics is always firmly grounded in natural probabilities. He himself is like a tall, luxuriously grown, shady tree whose roots are firmly rooted in the soil. In the words of Keats “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”.
Establishing a public sector university with 10 faculties and 27 departments, including a medical college, and an engineering Faculty, Faculty of law, School of Art and Design; short of a basic infrastructure (which is still in the making), is no mean achievement, judged by any standard .Today UOG stands head and shoulders above many others; a tangible reality; directing its future gaze, “To be a world class university”.
Dr Nizam is a person of Immaculate professional competence embedded with the best possible skills and traits of character. I find him already a legend-a person so inspiring, so motivating, so considerate, so kind and so affectionate. He has the heart of a lion; immensely courageous and bold, with an iron will to move heaven and earth, in achieving his targets and academic goals.
In Chaucer’s words,
“The god of Love, the god of Love, ah me!
How mighty and how great a lord his he!
There is no power on earth that can withstand
The miraculous men work at his command.”
In spite of his preoccupations with administrative affairs, he has not divested himself from teaching activities. It is so inspiring to visualize him meeting his M Phil class teaching Philosophy of Social Sciences and his MPS students, Demography of Aging. But all the same he does not believe in dispensation of knowledge alone, but has a passion for creation of new knowledge through research. That is the ultimate goal towards which he always persuades and directs his students; and in this process multiplies his research skills among others; and this remains the crux of his creative endeavors. He in a way says, “Go back to life; to nature, to society, to the perpetual womb of all creation”. This is where theoretical knowledge is embedded into Reality through the practice of Research, and thereby renovate and reshape itself a new. This is the shaping power of his imagination and intellect; which ultimately finds its way in writing and publishing research based new books-the store house of real wisdom which may be used by present and subsequent Governments in shaping policies on social issues; rectifying wrongs in the best interests of populace and Govt. at large “Truth is always the strongest argument” says Sophocles.
Dr Nizam is a democrat and believes in democratization of Education. He believes in delegating authority at different levels; creating platforms where all can participate in corporate management. An Arabic proverb reads: “Liberty enkindleth love: Love refuses no labor and Labor obtained whatsoever it seeketh.”
Dr Nizam is a marvelous brain; a brainy intellectual who always brain storms before taking any direction for action. He is the magnet brain of UOG who magnetizes other brains that come his way. It is the real mystique of his power-the power to wield influence over others and get things going the right way; which in his vision is no other than the practice of best possible academics in the university based on research and innovation .This practice takes the seven ships of wisdom and knowledge of UOG towards a world class university. Dr Nizam is a movement unto himself- a man of passion for progress and the will to power, to achieve the impossible. He is a beacon light for others at this university.
In the words of Goethe,
“There can none but Man
Perform the Impossible
He understandeth :
Chooseth and Judgeth:
He can Impart to the
Moment, duration. ”Author: Prof. Humayun Ghauri is assistant professor, English literature, University of Gujrat
Labels: Demographer, Education, Higher Education, Prof Dr Muhammad Nizamuddin, Profile, University of Gujrat
posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:35 AM,
At 10:49:00 AM,
Oh V.C of my university he is the real man i meet him and i hear him many time this man give University of Gujrat a new horizon of knowledge and he support every department to grow this university toward an institution i salute you as a student of your institution
At 12:42:00 PM,
I have seen our VC around our University. The best thing about him is his untiring drive. I see him active all the time doing things. Komal
At 5:37:00 AM,
Muhammmad Usama Masood said...
I salute our VC Dr.Nazim, because he is great man that listen everyone. He is too good.
At 10:11:00 PM,
he is a nice man indeed !
At 10:50:00 PM,
What a profile. Nice to know the gentleman. He has not taught us yet though.
At 10:56:00 PM,
And how nicely done profile.
At 5:23:00 PM,
He is indeed a great person who don't need words to explain himself rather words are always there to praise him for his hard and smart work. May Almighty bless him with good health, long life and unmatched status of respect
At 5:46:00 PM,
Of course,he is great man
At 9:46:00 PM,
mashAllah.. great... He'z like a gem to our uni ... i must say..
proud to be a uogian.. :)
At 2:15:00 AM,
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