‘Save Madurai Kamaraj University Coalition’ organised a public inquiry on the ongoing tussle in the MKU here on Saturday.
Students, faculty and non-teaching staff of the MKU submitted petitions to the panellists — senior journalist T.N. Gopalan, social activist A. Marx and advocate R. Krishnamoorthy. They also elaborated on the circumstances under which actions were initiated against the students and the staff.
A. Srinivasan, convenor of the inquiry, said academic council meetings and senate meetings were devoid of discussions. P. Vijayakumar, co-convenor, said the search panels constituted for selection of Vice-Chancellors were under political pressure. “The posts in most universities, including the MKU, are like deals, and the candidate are chosen under political pressure,” he added.
S. Vivekanandan, senior MUTA member, told the panellists that issues erupted within four months after Kalyani Mathivanan assumed charge as V-C in April 2012.
“In July 2012, inmates of girls’ hostels were asked to vacate, provoking the students to protest. The issue was settled on the intervention of former Collector Anshul Mishra. There is a pattern in victimisation of faculty, staff and students,” he alleged. He alleged that S. Krishnasamy, professor in School of Biotechnology, was removed as head of the department because he raised questions against the V-C at a senate meeting. “J. Arun and C. Pandiarajan of Research Scholars Association were dismissed after they questioned the delay in the release of UGC fellowship grants. M. Parthasarathy, an assistant and secretary of MKU Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Employees Welfare Association, was suspended based on an anonymous petition because he filed a case challenging the appointment of staff in the MKU in violation of reservation norms,” he said. Research scholar C. Pandiarajan and post-doctoral research scholar Eswari Pandaranayaka also made their submissions to the panelists. Ms. Pandaranayaka said actions were initiated against her because she approached the authorities seeking facilities in women’s hostels. “The authorities misconstrued that I led the protest when the UGC Vice-Chairman visited the MKU during convocation, and I was asked to change my guide or leave the MKU,” she claimed.
"MKU administration is student-friendly"
Syndicate members of Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) said there was absolutely no communication gap among the administration, students and teachers.
In a statement issued on March 17, eight Syndicate members said the MKU authorities were student-friendly and believed that development and discipline should go hand in hand.
The statement, issued as a clarification to an article, ‘An institution calling for attention,’ published by The Hindu, said: “Teachers and students are at liberty to meet any higher official with prior appointment. The MKU administration cannot allow a few association activists to misguide a few students. The university is pro-discipline and pro-development.”
Stating that quality improvement initiatives had been taken by the university in the last two years, the Syndicate members said people who had retired from service were not aware of the ground reality and it was regrettable that they were not bothered about discipline, the highest value of higher education.
Those who signed the letter were M. Rajarajan, V. Venkatraman, R. Kannan, K. Selvakumar, K. Pitchumani, P. Periyakaruppan, P.P. Chellathurai and G. Jeyalakshmi.