Professors, PU lock horns over faculty membership

  • Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2014 09:35 IST

Professors of affiliated colleges and Panjab University (PU), Chandigarh, are at loggerheads with the former staking claims over various faculties and the academic council of the varsity. There are a total of 11 faculties — five major and six minor — in different disciplines such as arts, sciences, medicine, law, business management and commerce.

Each faculty comprises of university professors, who are ex officio members; chairpersons of respective disciplines, and senators, who have opted for that particular faculty.

The PU academic council — which makes all the decisions pertaining to the syllabi and courses offered by the university — consists of five senate members, vice-chancellor as chairperson, dean of university instructions, 15 teachers from affiliated colleges elected from among themselves, 15 principals of affiliated colleges elected from among themselves, all PU professors and two university lecturers to be nominated by the PU syndicate on a rotation basis.

Professors of affiliated colleges have been demanding that they should be made ex officio members of the faculties as well as the academic council. Panjab University has formed a committee, which will take a decision on the issue on December 5.

Senate members Dalip Kumar and Mukesh Arora, who moved the proposal, said there were around 60 professors working in different government colleges affiliated to PU and they should be given an opportunity to participate in the functioning of the varsity.

"There should be no disparity between professors working in colleges and the university. They should all be treated equally," said Dalip Kumar.

Raising objection to the proposal, Panjab University Teachers Association (PUTA) has called for an emergency general body meeting on December 4 for passing a resolution against the proposal.

Professor Akshaya Kumar, a PUTA member, said: “Teaching and research work undertaken at a university is very different from the work carried out in a college. A deliberate attempt is being made to undermine the role of the university in providing academic leadership.” He added: “If such a proposal is implemented, it would be detrimental to the academic culture on campus.”

Terming the proposition impractical, PU Professor Mohammed Khalid said the varsity’s calendar only entitled campus professors to become ex-officio members.

He further said the inclusion of college professors would result in interference in the university’s functioning. The PU senate and syndicate continue to be dominated by college representatives and retired teachers while the faculty of the university has little representation in both the houses.

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