Why should Prof. Arun Pujari be appointed as the VC of Sambalpur University for the second term?

October 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Following was a repose from Dr. Arjun Purohit on the VC appointment issue of SU (this was posted in KDDF):

Dear all,
It is fascinating to see the sense of involvement of citizenry in the selection of VC of Sambalpur University. This is good. I have not noticed so much enthusiasm for a new VC for any other university in Odisha. There is good reason for that. People of the reason want to see that SU succeeds as the only full fledged multi-disciplinary institution in Western Odisha which has managed to outshine similar institutions in Odisha in spite of not too secret neglect of the state government. Among the comments, I recognise many I know and have high regards, and I understand the sincerity of there deliberations.So here is my two cents worth of input into the process of deliberation. My comments and conclusion should in no way be construed as disregard for the opinions expressed by others.
What should be the criteria for choosing the VC of SU ?  Bertrand Russell used to say,”…war is too serious a business to be left to the generals(my paraphrase)”. No single criterion is sufficient, be it scholarship,administrative excellence.popularity, and what not. The single most important goal of the university is to prepare the students for the twenty first century in spite of all odds. For that what is required is leadership with a clear vision and ability to execute the vision, and do whatever it takes to accomplish it.
Whenever I go to region, I try to meet the current VC of SU of the time because of my love for the institution. Without denigrating the contribution of so many past VCs of the institution, I must say that the current VC of SU,Dr.Pujari  is perhaps one of the best I have met. How he accomplished so much within one term is simply seemingly impossible considering the odds. He has the unique combination of all the necessary competence one can think of. By any measure, leading SU is a daunting task. But he has managed to find resources both within and outside the institution with innovative ideas to institute new programs and institutions within SU within so short of time. One of the most visible of such efforts is the creation of IIIT, which will have far reaching impact on the significance of the University. But that is not the only one. There are many other projects which are in the different stages of of implementation. One of these is to selectively upgrade some of colleges strategically located in outlying distant and severely deprived areas within the catchment of SU, and to identify bright young minds in the area, and to mentor them in becoming leaders in different scientific and technical disciplines. I was so impressed with the concept that I have volunteered to be a minor players in this enterprise.
Like all terms, his term of VC has come to an end. Now the issue in front of us is  how do you replace him, or the question can be rephrased  as, should we replace him ? Change should not be done for change’s  sake. At the same time, one also must not be married to the idea that the present incumbent is irreplaceable. In my humble opinion, if one finds somebody with his unique combination of leadership skills and proven track record,or even better than his credentials, then of course we should welcome such a person as our new VC. Not knowing the details of potential candidates, I obviously can not comment. Having said that, I also find that Dr.Pujari is young and is very energetic, far more than many senior academic leaders one can think of. Taking all these into consideration, I will personally prefer that his tenure be extended for another term. This will at least give time for the projects to be completed.
Regards
Arjun Purohit
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Entry filed under: Higher Education Zone, Region watch, Sambalpur, Sambalpur University, Sambalpur University Institute of Information Technology, Sambalpur-Rairakhol-Kuchinda, Universities.

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