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Poor quality of university VCs

A senior scientist outside Tamil Nadu expressed disappointment over the poor quality of some of the vice chancellors of universities in the state. He compared the reputation enjoyed by some of the earlier VCs and the quality of research and teaching staff that seem to have deteriorated. The recent instance of the High Court dismissing the appeal of a  VC of a southern university is a case in point. There are charges of such appointments not conforming to the norms set in regard to qualifications, research and teaching experience, etc.

IE has been pointing to such deficiencies for long. Over the last two decades the appointment of VCs have become the handmaiden of the Executive. The tenure has been limited to three years. The executive decides the committee for selection. The chancellor has the power to reject the candidate recommended and constitute a fresh committee. The result: state-run universities have not thrown up, in recent years, a VC with solid contribution winning recognition.

In the case of private universities, the control is entirely with the promoter and his family. Powerful politicians or those with political ambition control several of these. These are family-owned and managed and have emerged highly profitable business ventures.

There have been growth in quantity but of quality, there is nothing much to crow about. As in other aspects of Tamil life, caste and money play a big role in the selection of VCs.

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