The professors allege no circular was sent to the departments asking eligible teachers to apply
With just a week left for the end of vice-chancellor G. Thiruvasagam’s tenure at Madras University, a fresh controversy has broken out.
This time, over the promotion of teachers. The Professors Forum of Madras University has alleged that the vice-chancellor abused his powers by calling only eight out of the many teachers eligible for promotion under the career advancement scheme of the University.
It takes almost 15 years for a faculty member to become a professor, having passed through the ranks of assistant and associate professors. The interviews scheduled on October 8 are for the positions of professors, and assistant and associate professors.
“Interviews have to happen across 72 departments and there should be at least 40 eligible teachers for promotion but neither have they been called for interviews, nor told that they have been rejected. This is clearly favouritism,” said a professor.
Among the selected are teachers in the departments of polymer science, nuclear physics, biophysics crystallography, politics, management sciences, biophysics and genetics.
The professors allege no circular was sent to the departments asking eligible teachers to apply for the interviews. “No panel listing or fixing of dates has happened. We don’t even know how certain people got shortlisted,” said a member of the Forum.
The Forum has written to higher education officials asking them to intervene. “Few of the shortlisted members have refrained from appearing for the interviews as it is being done in a non-transparent manner,” said a member.
Vice-chancellor Thiruvasagam, however, said the interviews were mere routine. “We had sent circulars more than once asking for the teachers to apply but now, UGC norms are stricter,” he said.
“The Board of Studies had sent a list of examiners of which three people were selected to evaluate the eligibility of teachers. “The evaluation report had deemed only ten of them eligible and so, only they have been called for interviews,” he said.
Over the last three years of his tenure, he had tried scheduling interviews but there was regular opposition from certain groups, he claimed.