The University of Mumbai, which has more than 650 colleges, is facing a major shortage of teaching staff and heads of departments with 120 teaching posts lying vacant.
Major departments such as economics, physics, history and psychology have more than 10 posts of professors, associate professors and assistant professors waiting to be filled.
The university’s five departments -- Marathi, psychology, life sciences, sociology and information science -- have been functioning without a head of department (HOD) for over a year. The staff shortage has led to incomplete syllabus, fewer lectures and administrative problems.
Senate members allege that the university is dragging its feet in hiring more professors or extending a teacher’s tenure.
Abhay Bambole, a senate member representing professors, said: “In every senate meeting, we have been consistently demanding to appoint more teaching faculty but the administration is reluctant to do so.”
“The university puts students’ interest on the back burner by not filling vacant positions,” said a senate member.
The university’s most profitable department, the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL), does not have a permanent director. With a student strength of around 80,000, IDOL keeps extending the tenure of the ad hoc director. The HODs of other departments such as statistics and English are fighting to extend their recently expired tenures.
“We carried out mass recruitment last year. In most departments, the student-faculty ratio is 20:1,” said MA Khan, registrar of the university.
Pro-vice-chancellor Naresh Chandra said: “Appointments of HODs take time and the university is looking for candidates.”