Work at the Linguistics and Punjabi Lexicography department at Punjabi University here has been affected because of the internal bickering.
The faculty and clerical staff have been protesting for the past three days, demanding the removal of the head of the department Sumanpreet Kaur who, on the other hand, alleged that such protest was politically motivated as she had challenged the seniority of one of the assistant professors.
Even some students of the department have written to vice-chancellor Jaspal Singh in favour of Kaur. The timing of the protest raises questions as the dissent against Kaur erupted in her fourth year of headship, as the faculty has accused her of behaving in an unprofessional manner.
Raising questions over the seniority process in the university, Kaur had moved the Punjab and Haryana high court in March, following which the university had to stall the promotion of Gurbaksh Singh, assistant professor in the department.
"Why am I being targeted now? It is only because I challenged the university's seniority in the court. University politics and groupism are behind such protests. I can't comment further as the matter is sub-judice," she said.
She said that being head of the department, she had come up with immediate changes in academics, including alteration in syllabus of different classes, and these protesters apparently had problems with that.
"Now the protesters are intimidating the students who supported me and are asking them to append signatures against me," Kaur claimed.
Meanwhile, Gurbaksh Singh said Kaur had challenged his seniority, then why all other faculty members and clerical staff wanted her removal.
He alleged, "She has failed miserably to run the department. She has hardly held the mandatory monthly meeting of the department administrative committee during her tenure. Besides she behaves rudely not only with the clerical staff but with her colleagues as well."
Singh said they demanded that the university authorities immediately remove her from the post and give interim charge to the dean of faculties (languages).