The move by a search committee to invite applications through the media for the post of Vice-Chancellor of the Gandhigram Rural Institute-Deemed University has been welcomed by academicians, who believe such transparency is needed in choosing the heads of universities.

Recently, E. Balagurusamy, the search committee’s chairman, issued a press release calling for applications from eligible candidates. It is seen as a healthy precedent, which similar panels in other universities could emulate, as it gave wide publicity to enable all eligible candidates to know about vacancies.

The media release included requirements that the search committee was looking for in a candidate.

Mr. Balagurusamy had invited academics “excited about institution-building and who have a proven track record of academic and administrative leadership with impeccable character and integrity” to send their applications. The applications should not be sent directly to the Search Committee, but to the University registrar.

“We have got very good response from all over the country. Usually, universities don’t have a budget to place advertisements of this nature. So, we decided to ask newspapers to carry it as news. This way, all eligible candidates get to know of such vacancies,” Mr. Balagurusamy said.

P. Kandaswamy, former Professor of Mathematics, Bharathiar University, who was one of the applicants for the post of Vice-Chancellor of Bharathiar University when the tenure of C. Swaminathan got over, says he got to know of the vacancy by word of mouth and not through any official or formal channel.

Another advantage is that since the maximum age of vice-chancellors has been increased to 70 years, eligible professors who have retired and are away from academic circles will also get to know about such vacancies through the media.

Academics say that the future search committees to be constituted for searching vice-chancellors should adopt this system.