Following serious disagreement with students, actor Tom Alter resigned as head of the acting department at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). The FTII administration, while confirming Alter’s resignation, said, “It is yet to be accepted.”
According to Brijendra Pal Singh, chairman of the FTII academic council, the students had refused to attend Alter’s classes because he had sought 100% attendance. FTII students, however, accused Alter of using “dictatorial ways” and failing as an administrator, as a result of which they had to suffer.
Alter’s resignation is the latest standpoint between students and FTII management as the institute simmers again after the academic council proposed to bring in a new syllabus, among some other proposals. The management suggested shifting to a choice-based credit system and extra measures to maintain discipline on the campus.
The students were also recently on strike to oppose the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as institute chairman.
Sources said on May 23, students misbehaved with Alter after a scuffle with him in the director’s office. At that point, the actor threatened to resign. In his resignation letter sent through an email, Alter maintained that because of other commitments, he was “unable to find time for academic activities.”
FTII director Bhupendra Kainthola, while confirming the resignation, said, “The institute is trying to persuade him to withdraw the resignation.” Alter, who joined the institute in November 2014, had voluntarily decided not to take any honorarium and was teaching students without accepting a salary.
Meanwhile, the proposals put forth by FTII management include hostel facility be allowed for used only during the duration of course, while a proctor is to be appointed on the campus to bring in order among students.
At an academic council meeting held on Wednesday, students opposed all the proposals put forth by council members. Irked by the constant opposition by students, Singh reportedly expressed his disappointment saying he had never come across students who “wanted to oppose everything”.