Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has issued a Section 44 order to pave the way for outsiders to be appointed as executives of state universities.
The move is aimed at solving problems in the selection of executives at several state universities that have been hamstrung by lawsuits.
Gen Prayut in his capacity as chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) used his special powers carried over from the interim charter to issue the order, which was published in the Royal Gazette yesterday.
It calls for the invocation of Section 44 of the former interim charter, which is still valid under Section 265 of the 2017 charter.
According to Order 37/2017, state universities are often plagued with problems regarding the selection of university executives, and it was has stalled continuity in the universities' management and delayed operations.
This has in turn had an adverse impact on the government's education reform efforts, it said.
In order to ensure continuity and efficiency in the running of universities, the NCPO order authorises universities to appoint people who are not university civil servants or university personnel as university rectors, deputy rectors, assistant rectors, deans, or heads of university agencies which are equivalent to faculties.
The order will apply to anyone who already held the aforementioned positions before the order took effect.
It would also apply to candidates who are in the process of being chosen for those jobs when the order became effective.
According to the order, the criteria regarding qualifications for candidates as well as necessary prohibitions will remain unchanged.
Regulations already established for state university civil servants and laws governing the establishment of each university will be upheld in this regard.