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Concern over JU quit order

Sukanta Chaudhuri

Sukanta Chaudhuri, professor emeritus, department of English, Jadavpur University, has written to the interim vice-chancellor, highlighting the possible consequences of the decision to ask directors and joint directors of the university’s 21 inter-disciplinary schools to resign.

The directors and joint directors of the schools on Monday submitted memorandum to the interim VC, Abhijit Chakrabarti, protesting the “arbitrary removal”.

Chakrabarti had on Wednesday sought their resignations to allow for reorganisation of the management. Pending fresh appointments, the dean, faculty of the interdisciplinary schools, law and management, Ashis Mazumder, has been asked to take charge.

“Given the independent management structure of the schools, the dean will face a stupendous task of their day-to-day administration, with full financial responsibilities,” Chaudhuri wrote in the note he submitted to the interim VC and shared with the school heads and a few others. “Most, if not all, schools have their own bank accounts, where the director’s signature on every cheque is mandatory. Who will sign those cheques (including salary cheques for project staff)? What effect will the impasse in fund flow have on ongoing projects….? I say nothing of the loss of morale that is bound to follow — a crucial factor in centres kept going largely by the force of personal motivation in all concerned.”

Chaudhuri had served as director of the school of cultural texts and records from 2003 till his retirement in 2010. He was succeeded by Amlan Dasgupta, professor, English department, who put in his papers the day the order seeking resignations was issued.

Interim VC Chakrabarti confirmed that he had received Chaudhuri’s note and said the university would appoint new directors and joint directors soon so in 10 to 15 days so that “there won’t be any trouble in running day-to-day administration”.

Chaudhuri told Metro on Monday that there should not have been even a minute’s gap between handover of charge. “The outgoing directors should have known who they are going to pass on the charge to, facilitating a smooth transition,” he said.

A director alleged the fresh appointments would be in violation of rules, which required a director to be based on the recommendation of the school’s academic committee. “But JU is going to appoint new directors without constituting a new committee,” said the director.

Chaudhuri said it was not clear “whether the academic committees have been dissolved”.

Chakrabarti stressed the decision was in keeping with rules. “We would still seek legal opinion to ensure there are no bottlenecks,” he said.