Pen-sketches of likely successors
With Valson Thampu stepping down from the post of officiating principal at St Stephen’s College, speculation is rife on who would be the next principal of the college. The college has been without a regular principal since Anil Wilson quit to join as the vice-chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University.
The college is silent on who could be the likely candidates. “It is premature to say anything. We will have to wait for the applications to come in,” said Sunil Matthew, the newly appointed spokesman of the college.
It is, however, settled that whoever comes in will have to be a member of the Church of North India (CNI). “The principal has to be a member of the CNI. We are a minority college and have some rights under the Constitution,” said Matthew.
There are rumours doing the rounds that Wilson may also apply for the post. Wilson, however, has denied the same. “I wish to state most emphatically that this is idle speculation. I am not a candidate for this position and there is no question of my applying for a position that I served on for 16 years,” he told Hindustan Times.
M.S. Frank, the 54-year-old vice-principal of the college, is one of the contenders. He was declared the protem administrator till a regular principal is appointed. Frank, a faculty member in the chemistry department, said he intended to apply for the post of the principal.
“I have a doctorate in Chemistry from Andhra Pradesh University and have been associated with the college for the last 27 years,” said Frank. He said members of the CNI or other aligned churches like the Church of South India could apply for the post.
CNI member Shobhana Bhattacharya, a faculty member in the department of English at Jesus and Mary College, has been a probable for many years. Bhattacharya’s name has come up several times in the past for the principal’s post. College sources said Bhattacharya was asked to assume the officiating principal’s post when Wilson resigned, but she turned down the offer.
The other probable is Christabel Dewadawson, who is a faculty member in the English department of Delhi University.