In a bid to tackle the problem of faculty shortage, IIT Kanpur is looking westward and plans to open its office in the US. If the plan works out, it will be perhaps the first initiative by an IIT to have a global presence.
The new office, which will be either in New York or Washington, will help the institute hire faculty and garner donations.
The institute will put forward the proposal at its board meeting on June 1 and if approved, the office may start functioning in two months.
Initially, there will only be two or three people in the office, including a person who will coordinate with the Indian students pursuing Phd in the US. At present, the institute has been able to fill only two third of its faculty positions.
"So many US and European universities have their offices in India. We strongly feel that there is a need to have our presence at a location that provides us with lots of resources. The US will be an excellent platform for getting faculty and donations," Manindra Agarwal, dean resource, planning and generation said.
Acknowledging that faculty shortage was a major problem, he added, "This shortage has arisen because we cannot compromise on quality. Owing to faculty shortage, we are not able to offer many courses too. This has also prevented us from offering flexibility to the faculty besides hampering us from being able to form big research groups."
Since more than 50% of the faculty comes from the US, Agarwal said the US-based office would help tap prospective candidates.
"It will also act as a catalyst for raising funds and increasing research collaboration with varsities and industry in the US."