Questions raised on acting VC’s role in selection panel
Officials at University of Mumbai have questioned whether Chandra Krishnamurthy, the varsity’s acting Vice-Chancellor (VC), can preside over a meeting to nominate a member to the search committee, which will shortlist candidates for the VC’s post, reports Kiran Wadhwa.mumbai Updated: Mar 17, 2010 01:57 IST
Officials at University of Mumbai have questioned whether Chandra Krishnamurthy, the varsity’s acting Vice-Chancellor (VC), can preside over a meeting to nominate a member to the search committee, which will shortlist candidates for the VC’s post.
Officials have said that Krishnamurthy was one of the five candidates shortlisted for the VC’s post in the last round, which was declared void in February by the Governor.
While there is no law that prevents Krishnamurthy from presiding over the meeting, officials said that it is unethical because of the conflict of interest. The meeting is scheduled for March 23.
Usually the outgoing VC presides over the meeting to nominate a candidate for the search committee. The last VC, Vijay Khole retired last September. Since then, the process of appointing a new VC has been pending.
“Krishnamurthy was appointed as acting VC and was a contender in the last round so it is not ethical for her to be a part of the meeting unless she is sure that she is not going to apply again,” said a university official on condition of anonymity.
When asked if she would preside over the meeting, Krishnamurthy said she had been asked to call for a meeting. “The Governor’s office has asked me to call for a meeting to nominate a member and that is what I am doing. I will follow the normal procedure.”
But would that mean that she is not applying for the post of VC? “It is too premature to comment on weather I will apply or not,” she said.
“If Krishnamurthy is interested in applying for the post of VC, she should voluntarily opt out of being part of the meeting. Just because there is no legal binding does not mean that there is no ethical binding. Though, of course, the decision will be unanimous, there is still conflict of interest,” another official said.
The state this year changed the qualifications and the appointment procedure of VCs to all Maharashtra universities to make it more transparent and free of political interference.
But Mumbai is lagging behind in the process. Four other universities have already got new VCs.
In Mumbai, even the acting VCs tenure is coming to an end on March 27. The governor can extend her tenure.