How (not) to appoint a University vice-chancellor

Ramachandra Guha in The Telegraph, Calcutta:

“Some months ago, a news item in the Bangalore edition of a national paper carried this headline, “Three shortlisted for Mysore varsity post”. Since I am a former academic, and have known many past graduates and teachers of Mysore University, I read on further.

“The report continued to say that:

“…finally, the search committee has shortlisted three candidates for the Mysore University Vice-Chancellor’s post. The committee, headed by K. Balaveera Reddy, met on Tuesday. Sources told The Times of India that the shortlisted candidates are from Lingayat, SC and Vokkaliga communities. The candidates’ names have been placed before the government”.

“The report mentioned the names of the shortlisted candidates, from which one could discern their respective caste affiliations. Remarkably, the news report did not carry any details on the qualifications of those who aspired to be the new vice-chancellor of Mysore University.

“What were their areas of academic expertise? What were their plans for reviving a once-good university now gone to seed? Apparently, these matters did not matter to the newspaper, as they did not to the government that was to make the appointment. Perhaps they were of no concern to the candidates themselves.”

Read the full article: The chancellor’s vice

Also read: Graduates of Indian Universities need not apply