On Friday, G. Thiruvasagam, University of Madras’s vice-chancellor, will step down from his post, as his tenure comes to an end.

Prof. Thiruvasagam, the 42nd V-C of the university, assumed charge on October 13, 2009, succeeding S. Ramachandran. He hails from Siruvelangudi in Sivaganga district.

He was formerly the V-C of Bharathiar University, Coimbatore. Prof. Thiruvasagam was the principal of Yadava College in Madurai, following which he was a member of the syndicate of Madurai Kamaraj University.

A senior member of Madras University Teachers’ Association says, the V-C was open to the interests of students and faculty, and was instrumental in ushering in technology in teaching methods and improving the infrastructure of the university.

“Qualified teachers have been given good posts and hostel conditions have improved. No other V-C has conducted 37 syndicate meetings and he is leaving, without a note of dissent. This shows the syndicate is with him,” the member said.

Among his initiatives is a facility for staff and students to air their grievances, and a technology business incubator as an interface for industry-academia collaboration.

Not everyone is pleased with the V-C though. The Professors’ Forum of Madras University (PFMU) has written to higher education officials requesting a judicial enquiry into the allegations against him, including those of financial irregularities.

The forum has questioned the outsourcing of preparation and printing of materials for the university’s institute of distance education, the allotment of study centres in various States and construction of university buildings and hostels without proper approvals from the government.

“Some of the steps he has taken are gross violations of the university statutes and many have led to huge losses for the university,” said S. S. Sundaram, general secretary of the forum.

On Tuesday, a syndicate meeting was held, where it was decided that a further course of action to determine the next vice-chancellor would be decided in a special meeting on Wednesday. The V-C in-charge will also be decided then.

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