CHENNAI:A special syndicate meeting has been convened on Monday by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Madras to ratify the appointment of professors to five departments, which was previously held up in a legal tangle. A few members of the syndicate on Friday evening questioned the urgency of convening a meeting barely hours after the Madras High Court vacated a stay on recruiting the professors.
While there is no legal bar to convene a syndicate meeting at short notice for agendas such as ratification of appointments, usually a 15-day notice is given to syndicate members. Some members suspect that the university wants to circumvent a possible legal appeal challenging the High Court verdict.
According to a senior syndicate member, in June last year the University had invited applications to fill 22 professorial posts and two administrative posts. In September 2014, the University’s Vice Chancellor, R Thandavan, had hurriedly convened a syndicate meeting on the very day an interview was conducted for the post of Director (Academic Staff College) in which the appointment of A Gunasekaran was ratified by the members. “He joined duty the same night,” the member pointed out.
Subsequently, without conducting any interviews for the other posts, the university notified vacancies in the National Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. This prompted the Higher Education Department to question why the University had failed to fill the 22 vacant posts for professors, the vacancies for which were notified in June that year.
Following this, the university selectively conducted interviews to appoint professors in five of the 22 departments along with the post in the Nanoscience and Nanotechnolgoy Centre.
After the interviews were conducted, a Dalit aspirant had moved the High Court challenging the manner in which the university was following the 200-point roster system of recruitment. On Friday last the court dismissed the petition.
“Now the Vice-Chancellor has hurriedly called for the syndicate meeting on Monday merely to ratify the appointments of professors.