Monday, July 11, 2011

TISS to recruit faculty on contractual basis

Performance indicators and pink slips are no longer the domain of grueling corporate jobs. Something fundamental is changing in public universities of India that have always provided their teachers job security and the comfort of fixed work hours.

The government funded Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) plans to recruit faculty on their Hyderabad campus on a contractual basis. It is only after a regular annual assessment, which includes students' evaluation, will their term be extended.

The new campus which saw initial financial support from the Azim Premji Foundation, will conduct several interdisciplinary courses, essentially requiring more than just teaching from a text. The decision on recruitment rules was taken as it was felt faculty sign up with a lot of enthusiasm but, as years roll by, the "promise of pension" turn many to deadwood, said sources.

"We are looking for the best teachers who can liven up our classroom. We are keen on appointing individuals who bring strong inter-disciplinary research experience and also are good teachers. We want individuals who will join a new institute and grow with it," said Lakshmi Lingam, deputy director of the Hyderabad campus. But what about senior academics who may look the other way, discouraged by the recruitment policy and not make the switch?

To attract marquee names, the institute will also have some permanent positions, the ones that will be supported by the University Grants Commission (UGC). "Also, if we find a good track record of a contractual faculty, they will find their way on the permanent rolls," added Lingam. Mindful of the fact that emoluments need to be competitive, TISS has decided to not differentiate between the contractual and the permanent teachers on campus would be offered the Sixth Pay Commission salary scale.

Source: The Economic Times (Online Edition), July 11, 2011
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