Resentment in academic circle over call for an outsider for the job

An advertisement in leading newspapers on Tuesday by Bangalore University (BU) inviting applications for the post of principal of the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE) has kicked up a storm.

The bone of contention is over the method of appointment. The UVCE, an engineering college, is governed by All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norms. However, being a constituent college of BU, BU's statutes are also binding on it. Another technical issue is the existence of the post itself. Sources in UVCE argue there is no principal's post there and that the incumbent, K.R. Venugopal, was appointed as in-charge principal.

Fourth ad to appear

Several theories are now doing the rounds regarding the call for appointment, said to be the fourth such advertisement by BU for the same post. One argument is that by bringing an “outsider” to the post and limiting his /her tenure to four years (according to the advertisement), BU was being unfair to senior professors at the UVCE.

There are those who cite a clause in the Karnataka State Universities (KSU) Act 2000. According to it, appointment to the post of principal in constituent engineering colleges will be made by the Syndicate in accordance with the scheme governing promotions as prescribed by the statutes evolved by the University Grants Commission or AICTE. The issue of a “tenure” is also being debated, as presently the in-charge principal stays until retirement.

To move the court

Some 10 professors from UVCE are now preparing to approach the court seeking a stay on the ads. They say not one of the 28 principals of UVCE have been appointed in any way other than on basis of seniority.

But BU Registrar (Administration) B.C. Mylarappa, who has signed the advertisement, maintained the university's stance. “The post of UVCE principal was approved in 2006 by the Chancellor (the Governor). The advertisement is in line with BU statutes. It was issued with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor, and on the request of senior professors of UVCE,” he said.

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