Author(s): Mehta, A. M., & Ali, F. H.
The rapid growth of the COVID-19 pandemic has induced universities to strive for developing solutions to detect and control the spread of this virus. Many public and private sector universities across the globe are trying to play their part in managing this risk, be it a developed or developing country. The present study attempts to shed light on the level of responsiveness and management among universities towards the pandemic risks. This research focuses on the case of the largest state university, University of the Punjab, situated in Pakistan. The measures taken by a state-owned university reflects that academic institutions may differ in terms of the rapidity in the response taken during such pandemics. Such responses vary in terms of the role of universities in accelerating activities such as enhancing virus testing facilities, setting up telemedicine helplines, creating awareness among the public through mass communication; and, ensuring smooth running of academic activities by switching from physical classrooms to virtual classrooms. The study also identifies the challenges universities are facing, such as the financial risk of closure of the physical campus and academic staff training to enable them to conduct online academic sessions. Lastly, the article provides few recommendations that universities should follow such as, realizing the sense of social responsibility; collaborative research by pooling research-based resources among the universities nationwide and creating an effective information technology system to conduct virtual academic sessions. Finally, the study also provides future directions to study the leadership styles of various leaders of different countries and organizations in terms of their responsiveness to tackle the pandemic.