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IIMs' futile hunt for faculty

india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 04:50 IST
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IIM Bangalore: Over the last two years we have interviewed 20 to 25 candidates for faculty, but recruited only four. We fear the student-faculty ratio will go from 10:1 to 15:1 — Director Prakash Apte.

IIM Calcutta: We need to double the present faculty of 75. We get a flood of applications but a large number are unsuitable. — Dean Anindya Sen.

IIM Ahmedabad: We don’t want to compromise learning effectiveness with higher intake, but finding faculty in large numbers is exceedingly difficult. — Dean J Varma.

At the landscaped 100-acre campus of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, the top administration is frenetically — and unsuccessfully — searching for new faculty, land near campus and resources to expand classrooms, dormitories, the library and sports facilities to cope with more students from next year.

Last week, the Supreme Court admonished the Centre for rushing ahead with the 27 per cent reservation policy without collecting proper data on reservations.

But as the admission process for next year begins in November, the older IIMs — at Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bangalore, that have not received government funds since three years — are still struggling to find talented faculty despite applications and plans to increase perks.

“Already, we admit about 20 per cent other backward classes (OBC) students on merit,” Apte said. “To execute a 54 per cent increased intake over three years, we have to start making changes now. But older IIMs are not getting government funds since three years.”

An institute committee has a plan — awaiting approval — to increase faculty compensation. A professor gets about Rs 40,000 per month with perks, far lower than private sector salaries. “We need to increase faculty from 72 to at least 100,” said Apte. “Getting faculty who meet our quality standards is very difficult at compensations we offer.”

IIM Bangalore plans to hike its 250 per year intake by 18 per cent, or 40-odd seats, next year. “We have submitted an infrastructure plan to the Moily Committee, seeking Rs 50-60 crore,” said Apte. “For the last two to three years we have not received grants, though the Centre had promised us grants matching the surplus we generated.”

IIM Calcutta, with a current 300-plus student intake, plans to hike it by an initial 6 per cent next year. “We need 50 acres near campus,” said Sen. “But doubling faculty quickly is a more severe problem though we are working on changes in perks, like permitting foreign travel thrice in three years instead of just once.” The IIM Calcutta has requested funds of Rs 7 crore for recurring expenses per year and Rs 14 crore for capital cost (excluding land cost) to expand infrastructure.

“We had recommended that intake be expanded from 2008 to give us time to prepare,” said Varma at IIM-A. “Finding faculty will be a big challenge. We don’t know how we’ll do it.”

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