Sanaa University's Union of University Faculty and their Assistants has called on the university's president to repeal the board's decision to appoint 300 new faculty members, claiming they were appointed on primarily political grounds.
The union described the move as a violation of academic requirements, saying it would affect both educational standards and the university's reputation.
It has challenged the legitimacy of the decision, arguing it was taken under pressure from the Houthis' Deputy Minister of Higher Education, and serves pro-Houthi academics who do not meet the university's requirements and standards.
"Houthis have decided to approve this big number of appointments to serve academics loyal to them, whose number is three times higher than those who meet the requirements," said professor and union member Hesham Naji.
"The union has demanded that the president of the university cancel this decision before it resorts to court to cancel it, insisting it will affect the level of education at the university and undermine its reputation," he told Al-Mashareq.
"The university board has refused to vote on the appointment decision for four months, and the last time was on December 20th," he said.
"This has prompted the board to hold another session, on December 24th, but this time under the chairmanship of the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, who exerted pressure on deans to agree to vote without regard for the academic and legal requirements for appointment."
No advertised vacancies
Academics are appointed in various stages, Naji said.
"At first, the department announces its needs for filling a vacancy," he explained. "The department selects from among applicants based on merit and academic standards, and then makes a recommendation to the faculty board, which in turn sends it to the university's board, and then the board approves it."
Naji expressed his surprise over the new appointments, noting there had been no announced vacancies or financial and administrative approval of those appointments at the Ministry of Civil Service and Ministry of Finance.
Those who meet the university's hiring requirements are far fewer in number than those whose appointments were approved, he said.
"At the Faculty of Education, for example, those approved for appointment are 51, while those who meet the requirements are 11 only," he added.
"The number of jobs set aside for those who hold master's and doctorate degrees is 167, and the rest are for lecturers," he said.
"Most of the lecturers have worked at the university for years without receiving any salaries, and they have been waiting to become full-time teachers," he said.
"The real problem is that the Houthis want to pass the decision under the pretext of helping those who meet the requirements, but they actually want to appoint those who support them, in a stark violation of the relevant laws and academic standards and terms," he said.
The new appointment follows an October purge at Sanaa University, in which 122 university staff and faculty were dismissed in a move widely considered as serving the Houthis' agenda.