The rousing welcome accorded to Ms. Kalyani Mathivanan on her return to the Vice-Chancellor’s office on Monday has drawn flak from various faculty and student organisations. “It is unbecoming of an educationist to put up a big show and behave like a politician,” said P. Vijayakumar, co-convenor of Save MKU Coalition.

The Coalition members were hopeful that the interim stay would be vacated as early as possible, he also added.

District organiser of All India Students’ Association J. Arun said, “The MKU administration is starting a new trend inside the campus by erecting cutouts and banners.” “The police sternly refused to let us paste any posters inside the campus when Ms. Kalyani Mathivanan’s appointment was set aside, but they allowed this on Monday. The fact that school students were brought to welcome her implies that none of the university students came forward to welcome her,” he added.

S. Vivekanandan, general secretary of the Madurai Kamaraj, Manonmaniam Sundaranar, Mother Teresa and Alagappa University Teachers' Association , told The Hindu that bringing the cutout culture inside the campus was not appropriate.

“Ms. Kalyani Mathivanan should also bear in mind that the stay had been granted only for a period of six weeks and she should refrain from taking policy decisions. We hope the SC lifts the stay soon,” he said.

Convenor of Tamil Nadu Federation of Universities Faculty Associations S. Krishnaswamy said, “Faculty associations across the State have expressed shock at the level to which the educational institution has descended. If the stay is not extended after six weeks, she will stand disqualified to function as the VC.”

Differing claims

According to Registrar N. Rajasekar, the arrangements to welcome Ms. Mathivanan were made by staff members out of their own interest. His statement, however, differed with the claim of Public Relation Officer Arivalagan, who told the media that he had made all the arrangements.

After the Registrar’s comment disowning responsibility, the PRO also retracted his statement.

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