The Tamil Nadu Federation of Universities Faculty Associations (TANFUFA) has called for State-wide protests on March 10 “to focus attention on alleged corruption in appointment of Vice-Chancellors for universities in the State.”

It demanded that all the Vice-Chancellors must declare their assets and put the details in the web sites of respective universities before, during and after their tenure.

S. Krishnaswamy, Convenor, TANFUFA, in a press statement here on Tuesday said that the association had brought to the Governor's attention on February 15 about the “open secret of corruption that prevails with respect to appointments in universities starting from recruiting faculty members to nomination of members to Senate/Syndicate to appointing Vice-Chancellors.

The Day of Protest on March 10 is to stop corruption in higher education.”

“The life of a University lies in its people – students, staff, faculty, officers and Vice-Chancellor. The quality, integrity and commitment of these people make or mar the University. If corrective steps were not taken, it is bound to degenerate beyond redemption,” Dr. Krishnaswamy observed.

No weight for merit

The TANFUFA press release had said that merit has been thrown to wind in several VC appointments and mostly persons having little research exposure and administrative experience have been appointed whereas candidates who won laurels such as Bhatnagar awards were sidelined.

“Time and again there are reports in the air that money plays a crucial role in VC appointments. For an eminent academician like Prof. M. Anandakrishnan to call the university system scandalous because of the commercialisation of the appointment of Vice-Chancellors is but a sad reflection of the state of affairs,” Dr.Krishnaswamy said.

The UGC regulations clearly stated that persons of the highest level of competence, integrity, morals and institutional commitment are to be appointed as Vice-Chancellors.

The Vice-Chancellor to be appointed should be a distinguished academic, with a minimum of 10 years experience as Professor in a university system or 10 years experience in an equivalent position in a reputed research and / or academic administrative organisation”.

The TANFUFA convenor has expressed concern that unfortunately Vice-Chancellors have come under the scanner of DVAC and CBI often but most of them are not really pursued to the logical end.