CHENNAI: Professor S Sriman Narayanan was appointed member of the Convener Committee of Madras University on Friday, while Professor K Jothi Sivagnanam “will not be allowed to continue” as a member of the panel.
The move comes close on the heels of a section of the university faculty accusing Sivagnanam of chairing a recent academic council meet without ‘legitimacy’.
The three-member Convener Committee would carry out functioning of the university as the Vice-Chancellor’s post is lying vacant.
According to the university’s statute, senior-most member of the syndicate would be nominated by the university professor’s forum as a member of this committee.
On February, Sivagnanam was appointed member. But in the syndicate meeting held on Friday, the university instead appointed Sriman Narayanan to the panel since he was actually the senior most member of the syndicate.
“On February 2016, when professor Thangam Menon’s term as convener committee member got over, some members in the syndicate erroneously pointed out that despite being the senior-most, Sriman Narayanan can’t be appointed as convener committee member as he was on superannuation,” a syndicate member told Express.
So, Sivagnanam, head of the economics department, the second-most senior member of the syndicate, was appointed to the post.
“However, during Friday’s meet, when a few members raised this issue again, the university statute was referred to, and we came to know that superannuation has got nothing to do with appointment to this post. So, we rectified it and Sriman was rightly appointed to this post,” reasoned University Registrar, P David Jawahar.
Express had reported that the Madras University Teachers Association (MUTA) had filed a petition with Governor K Rosaiah against Sivagnanam for declaring himself as chairperson of the recently held academic council contrary to norms.
A professor, who alleged that Sivagnanam had collected bribes by claiming to be Vice-Chancellor in-charge, said this had been taken to the notice of the higher education department. Friday’s decision of the syndicate assumes significance in this backdrop.