Four SAU faculty members suspended; interceded on students’ behalf, they say

Suspended faculty members call decision ‘patently illegal’, say will explore legal possibilities

June 22, 2023 01:45 am | Updated 05:43 pm IST - New Delhi

South Asian University (SAU) has suspended four faculty members over allegations of misconduct and violation of the code of conduct of the institute, with officials saying that the charges need to be probed.

In response, the faculty members on Wednesday termed the suspension order by the SAU Deputy Registrar dated June 16 “patently illegal” and in contravention of the rules and regulations.

The members alleged they are being targeted after they wrote to the administration expressing concern over the police being called to disperse students who held a protest on October 13, 2022. The protesters were opposing the reduction of monthly stipends of postgraduate students and demanding adequate student representation in certain statutory committees of SAU, particularly those on gender sensitisation and sexual harassment.

The faculty members added they had tried to mediate between the students and the administration.

However, SAU labelled “allegations of misconduct”, defined by the SAARC inter-governmental Regulation 38, as the ground for suspension. The faculty members said they were exploring legal possibilities against the order.

Endorsing the suspended members, the Federation of Central University Teachers’ Association (FEDCUTA) and the Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) said the SAU faculty had written to the administration seeking a constructive solution to the crisis emerging out of the student protests, but were instead being accused of “instigating students”.

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