By Iram Salim
Dr. Syed Mansoor Sarwar retires from the Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT) on November 21, 2018 after serving it as Professor and Principal for over twelve and a half years.
PUCIT was established in December 2000 and Dr. Sarwar has been the longest serving Principal of the college. With PhD in Computer Engineering from the USA, he joined PUCIT after serving University of Portland (Oregon, USA) as tenured Assistant Professor and Associate Professor for over a decade, LUMS as Professor and Head of Computer Science Department, and Kuwait University.
During his tenure at PUCIT, he turned around the college from a sub average undergraduate institution to the largest and finest single source of quality computing graduates offering undergraduate degrees in Computer Science (CS), Information Technology (IT), Software Engineering (SE), Remote Sensing (RS), and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Today, PUCIT is a top brand in computing education in the nation with 5% acceptance rate in admission to its academic programs. Over 20,000 apply for admission to its various degree programs every year.
PUCIT has received the highest ‘W’ ranking in back-to-back accreditation reviews by HEC’s National Computing Education Accreditation Council (NCEAC). About 15% of over 220 accredited computing programs in the nation have this ranking. PUCIT graduates form around 30% of the workforce in the local software industry as well as serve in technology giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The college alumni have also formed over 70 small to medium size enterprises (SMEs) within and outside Pakistan.
Bring best practices from the universities internationally; Dr. Sarwar also established the college placement office. This office organizes yearly job fair at PUCIT bringing the top local technology companies on campus for student recruitment. Due to their technical preparation and the longevity they provide at workplace, PUCIT graduates are recruited on preferential basis.
Dr. Sarwar also established PUCIT New Campus, and started MPhil and PhD programs in CS and GIS in the college. These programs have gained respect in a rather short period of time. The college has around 3000 strong student body at both campuses. Throughout his management career, Dr. Sarwar demonstrated to be a top academic administrator who recruited excellent students and faculty, and created the requisite ecosystem to retain them. From no PhD faculty when he joined the college, today PUCIT has over 20 PhD teachers and 15 are pursuing their doctorate degrees. The college faculty includes five Fulbright scholars, two Erasmus Mundus scholars, and one DAAD scholar.
In addition to more than 50 international research publications, Dr. Sarwar is also the author of six textbooks. All of his books have been published in the USA by world’s top publishers Addison-Wesley (Pearson Education) and CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, making him the only resident Pakistani to have achieved this distinction. The second edition of Linux: The Textbook has been published by CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton, Florida, USA on October 12, 2018.
His books have been used in over 200 American universities and colleges, including the University of Texas at Austin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Arizona, Stevens Tech, University of California at Santa Barbara, and Syracuse University. These books are also being taught in several other countries, including Canada, UK, and Australia. The Chinese and Spanish translations of my books are being used in China, Hong Kong, Spain, and Mexico. More than 50,000 copies of my books have been sold throughout the world.
Dr. Sarwar has also served several national and provincial bodies related to computing and computing education, including National ICT R&D Fund (now Ignite), Punjab IT Board, several high-level HEC committees related to computing education in the country, and the steering committee for Punjab Land Record Management Information System. Dr. Sarwar’s contributions to uplift computing education in the country will go a long way. Pak Destiny