The Syndicate of Annamalai University has decided not to go in for salary cuts or retrenchment of staff.
At an emergency meeting held in Chennai on Friday, it decided to form a three-member high-power committee, consisting of an economist, a retired Judge and a retired Vice-Chancellor, to go into the causes of the financial crisis of the university and suggest ways and means of mobilising resources.
The Syndicate’s decision brought cheer to the faculty members and other employees who burst firecrackers and distributed sweets at many places in the vicinity of the university.
Vice-Chancellor M.Ramanathan told The Hindu that the committee would be constituted in another couple of days. “Since the university is in a critical financial situation it does not have the means to even pay the salary for the next two months. Therefore, the proposed committee would have to come out with its recommendations as early as possible.”
Since it is a State university, the Syndicate also entrusted the Vice-Chancellor with the task of meeting Higher Education Minister P.Palaniappan to apprise him of the university’s financial status.
Dr. Ramanathan said the Minister was being kept posted on the developments in the university. He would meet the Minister to seek his direction on how to improve the financial situation of the university.
Dr Ramanathan said students who had gone home for Deepavali to far off places, including the north-eastern States, would require 10—15 days to return. He would convene a meeting of Deans on Monday to ascertain the situation and take an appropriate decision on re-opening.
Joint Convener of Joint Action Council S.Mathialagan told this correspondent that the JAC would seek a White Paper on the financial status of the university. The members were ready to work extended hours to do their bit to help the university regain its past glory, Mr Mathialagan said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of members of the JAC staged a demonstration at the venue of the Syndicate meeting, demanding that the forum hasten its decision.