Prof M Jagadesh Kumar bid farewell to the students and faculty of Jawaharlal Nehru University, after accepting the responsibilities of the Chairman of the University Grants Commission for the tenure of five years. Prof Kumar, who has served as the Vice-Chancellor of JNU since 2016, was appointed as the Chairman of the UGC last week by the Ministry of Education.
In his letter, he writes about the role of the faculty in implementing various changes within the university. “Opening of new Schools and Centres, starting of new academic programmes, and making the admission and administrative process efficient could be realised only because my colleagues had the commitment and conviction to remain focused on the priorities that would enable our University to turn into one of the finest,” he mentions.
However, Prof Kumar made no regard to the varied controversies that plagued the varsity during his time in charge, like the disappearance of a student, Najeeb Ahmed in 2016 after the sedition row, the protests against fee hike in 2019 and the 2020 attacks on students at JNU.
Prof Kumar also went on to add that students and faculty were open to the changes introduced and took part in feedback sessions. “I tried always to be available to all the stakeholders — students, staff and faculty members. We used to have weekly afternoons exclusively reserved for such interactions. During these regular dialogues, I received constructive feedback and suggestions that helped me resolve many issues,” he shared.
Prof Kumar also issued another notice declaring the appointment of Prof Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit as his successor to the post of Vice-Chancellor of JNU. Prof Pandit, who is currently at the Department of Politics and Public Administration, Savitribai Phule Pune University, is the first-ever woman VC of the university.