IIM Shillong being run randomly by a Director with questionable credentials, says Jam Mag

The just-over-an-year-old IIM Shillong is headed by a non-PhD Director who oversees an administration embroiled in random faculty appointments and irregular financial deals relating to the institute’s IT infrastructure, according to a detailed expose by Jam magazine editor Rashmi Bansal. If any of this is true, there is little reason to cheer about the seven new IIMs on the anvil.

Excerpts from the story below. On faculty appointments:

“No less than 7 of the 13 full time faculty members who joined IIM Shillong in 2008 left in less than a year, leaving a demoralised student body and questions about how an institute by the name of ‘IIM’ can get by without following any prescribed norms.”

“”A prospective faculty member is generally required to present a paper before the students and existing faculty, before being invited for interview. In the case of at least one faculty member, there was neither a presentation nor an interview.”

Another shocking case was that of a candidate who was rejected by the interview board and yet appointed as a ‘faculty associate’. Three months this person was promoted to the post of assistant professor.

Another professor was recruited to teach a subject, despite having no experience or background in this subject. These and many more decisions related to academics were taken by the director unilaterally, without consulting the Dean and other faculty colleagues.”

The story further suggests financial irregularities in setting up of the institute’s IT infrastructure.

“Mr Dutta happens to be the chairman of a company from Kolkata, the All India Technologies, which is appointed as the webmaster of IIM Shillong for designing and maintenance of the institutes website.

Another related party transaction is the procurement of a web conferencing solution from Intellisys ltd, a company in which Mr Dutta occupies the position of a director.”

Full story here.

Update: Financial daily Business Standard, Nov 10 in its story “IIM-Shillong loses half its faculty over differences with director” quotes an anonymous member of the board of governors of IIM Shillong:

“A board member admitted: One of the faculty members had circulated an email among the board and faculty members, protesting against the termination letter handed over to him without giving him a reason. However, nothing has been done in this matter, though it was brought to the notice of the secretary of the ministry of human resource development.”

Director Ashoke Dutta is quoted in his defence as saying:

The institute’s director and other board members, however, have a different view of the events. Asked about these allegations, Dutta said, This is all false. Shillong is a tough place to be in and I have been successful in getting the campus up and running in just two months. We have a faculty sanction strength of 10, while we have had 13 faculty members on campus. I am aware of the mail being circulated by some disgruntled professors. While one has been sacked, the others left for greener pastures.

We’ll keep a tab on how this story develops and post updates here.

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