The proceedings of the Syndicate meeting of Bharathidasan University were put on hold on Thursday after three members objected to its conduct citing the appointment of a fact-finding commission to probe into alleged irregularities against the Vice-Chancellor M. Ponnavaikko.
Their contention was that the Vice-Chancellor was not supposed to chair the meeting in such a situation. According to official sources, due to the insistence of the members – Natesan, Thiruchelvam and Thirugnanam – that the meeting be postponed by a week, the Vice-Chancellor reportedly fixed the next meeting on October 1, 2009.
Since nine of the 12 members who turned up for the meeting had signed in the attendance register, the meeting could not be considered as cancelled, sources said, adding that they — the eight members including the nominees of the Chancellor besides Prof. Ponnavaikko — were in favour of conducting the meeting, since the appointment of a fact-finding commission was not tantamount to charge-sheeting the Vice-Chancellor.
As per the existing procedures, whenever Vice-Chancellors are under the cloud of allegations, the Chancellor makes a recommendation to the government to ascertain the facts through a Commission. Until the Commission comes out with its report, based on which the government can take action, the Vice-Chancellor will continue to discharge responsibilities in an official capacity, sources said.
Nobody else can chair the Syndicate meeting in the presence of the Vice-Chancellor. Such an eventuality would arise only when the Vice-Chancellor goes on a visit abroad or was on leave or under suspension, sources added.