CHENNAI: With a PhD in history and another in management, P P Chellathurai perhaps has the right background to head the Madurai Kamaraj University as its Vice-Chancellor. Faculty members of the university, who have seen him up-close over the past decades, say he is hardworking man and one skilled in resolving problems quickly, just the right kind of candidate that is required to head the institution.
Chellathurai brings in decades of experience as an administrator — he has been a professor, director and head of the department of youth welfare studies for 20 years, and dean for five years (both at MKU); five years as Registrar of Periyar and Manonmaniam Sundaranar universities; chairperson of School of Youth Empowerment; faculty head, National Institute of Youth Development and syndicate, senate and academic council member in MKU and MS universities. He also was member of the UGC’s State expert committee.
Chellathurai has been a teacher for over 30 years and has 35 years of research experience, during which he published 37 research papers, published eight books, presented 151 research papers and organised 200 seminars and attended 400 conferences. He also received 12 awards and mobilised `15 crore to the university fund. This experience is expected to put him in good stead while administering the university that is facing a financial crisis.
“There has been a lot of audit objections and the support grant has been drastically cut. Important posts like Registrar, controller, dean, director of distance education and many syndicate positions are vacant. He also has to build teams and fix the issues on the financial and administrative fronts,” a faculty member said requesting anonymity.
Among the challenges on the academic side, the new VC will have to improve the score in NAAC accreditation that has gone down.