26 May, 2019

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JUSTA Faults Selection Procedure For Academic Positions On Campus

The Executive Committee of the Jaffna University Science Teachers’ Association (JUSTA) has issued an appeal to the University’s Vice Chancellor and Members of the Council with regard to selections to Academic Positions in the University.

250px-University_of_JaffnaJUSTA claims it is troubled by decisions of senior academics holding administrative responsibilities to overlook candidates with superior certified academic performances in favour of those with inferior records.

“The major criterion for selection to an academic post is academic excellence. This is because University is the highest seat for learning and its teachers do not teach from text books alone,” JUSTA said in its appeal.

JUSTA warns that selection on subjective criteria such as interview and performance easily becomes the means of abuse to favour those with superior connections and influence at the expense of persons from humbler backgrounds who have shown superior ability.

“Once this abuse takes root, the character of the University suffers, as those selected become increasingly beholden to those in authority,” the appeal said.

The Appeal to the Vice Chancellor has the support of 86 persons of the Jaffna University, including 69 members of the academic staff.

We publish below the letter in full;

University of Jaffna,

4th December 2013.

To:

The Vice Chancellor, Members of the Council and Well–wishers of the University,

Selection to Academic Positions in the University

Selection to academic positions is the task of mainly senior academics holding administrative responsibilities: the university community and the public rightly expect that this obligation is discharged conscientiously. Regrettably, we are more and more troubled by justifications from these same senior academics for overlooking candidates with superior certified academic performances, in favour of those with inferior records. The reasons frequently given – the selected candidate performed “superbly” in the interview or the candidate’s presentation was “superb” – point to the selectors trying to cover up something seriously amiss that troubles them. Current selections will determine the academic standing of the University, and its intellectual environment, for many years to come. It is now time to refresh our minds on the criteria for selection to academic positions.

The major criterion for selection to an academic post is academic excellence. This is because University is the highest seat for learning and its teachers do not teach from text books alone. They should continually update their knowledge and prepare their students accordingly. They should capture new outcomes in their research fields and apply them in their own work. A person who had absorbed what was taught over four years and applied it well in answering questions regularly set at examinations should be most suitable for the purposes given.

Hence as the first category for selection to the post of Lecturer (Probationary), the UGC has specified a First or Second Class (Upper Division) specialization in the relevant subject. Other categories are considered only when candidates in the first category are not available. When selections are made from other categories, the Council must justify it to the UGC.

UGC circular 935 states that “If the Selection Committee is not satisfied with the performance of candidate/candidates, but otherwise well qualified, such candidate/candidates be appointed as Temporary Lecturer/Lecturers for a period of one year and at the end of such period of such period they may be appointed as Lecturer (Probationary) having subjected to another interview and presentation”.

The Circular makes it clear that the certified record is the decisive criterion for selection. The presentation and interview are only to ensure that the selected candidate will not be a disaster as a teacher. It further makes it practically mandatory that the candidate having the best certified record be appointed in a temporary capacity, when there is some doubt about his capacity to teach and interviewed a year later. That makes plain the weight placed on qualification as opposed to presentation.

A Special Degree candidate has been tested in 120 credits using some 50 end-of-semester question papers (and numerous in-course assessments) by several tens of examiners. Each answer script has been marked twice by experienced examiners. The candidate had spent several hundred hours answering question papers in the examination hall. A first class is awarded based on this performance. In the selection board only Head of the Department is, in most cases, an expert in the subject. Is it that easy for such a board to reject the result obtained in the above manner and stamp a candidate as being unsuitable on the basis of a few questions fielded inadequately by the candidate during a brief interview lasting a few minutes?

To put it in another way: Whom should a board select to an academic post? A brilliant fresh graduate who did not do well in the presentation or one with an inferior record with better presentation skills?

We must further keep in mind that many years of war and migration have lowered the kind of exposure where students would pick up better English and present themselves more attractively. Under these circumstances it is incumbent on us to give students who have worked hard to overcome some of their handicaps and perform well during their four years at the University, their due opportunity to rise further. Selection on subjective criteria such as interview and performance easily becomes the means of abuse to favour those with superior connections and influence at the expense of persons from humbler backgrounds who have shown superior ability.

Once this abuse takes root, the character of the University suffers, as those selected become increasingly beholden to those in authority. 

01

Dr.A.Sivarupan Zoology

02

S.Selvarajan Maths & Stats

03

S.Arivalzahan Maths & Stats

04

M.R.R.Hoole Maths & Stats

05

N.Sivapalan Chemistry

06

K.Velauthamurthy Chemistry

07

K.Thabotharan Computer Science

08

G.Rajkumar Botany

09

M.Varathan Maths & Stats

10

A.Laheetharan Maths & Stats

11

K.Kannan Maths & Stats

12

Mrs.N.Satkunanathan Maths & Stats

13

Mr.B.Muraleetharan Maths & Stats

14

M.Khokulan Maths & Stats

15

M.Ananthakirishna Maths & Stats

16

A.Nithlavarnan Education

17

K.Sivarajah Marketing

18

K.L.Ramanan ELTC

19

J.Thevananth Financial Mgt

20

S.Anandasangari Financial Mgt

21

S.K.Kannathas ELTC

22

Ms.S.Srisatkunarajah Linguistics and English

23

Mr.N.Pratheeparajah Geography

24

Mr.S.Raveenthiran Geography

25

Mr.P.Akilan Fine Arts

26

Prof.K.Thevarajah Commerce

27

Dr.T.Manoranjan Chemistry

28

Mr.S.Ketheeswaran Library

29

N.Sivakaran Philosophy

30

S.Sivakanthan Sociology

31

R.Rajeshkannan Sociology

32

S.Rajeswaran Geography

33

A.S.Sosai Geography

34

E. Ratnam Marketing

35

T.Karunakaran ELTC

36

Miss.S.Sithamparanathan Physical Education Unit

37

G.D.Mathiyalagan Physical Education Unit

38

Ms.E.Arulmpalam Physical Education Unit

39

Ms.S.Shasiharan Physical Education Unit

40

Dr.C.C.A.Sivapalan Linguistics & English

41

Ms.S.Sivamoorthy Linguistics & English

42

Mr.S.Wimal Linguistics & English

43

Dr.V.Suntharesan ELTC

44

Dr.M.Saravanapavan ELTC

45

Dr.T.Sanathanan Fine Arts

46

D.Arthe ELTC

47

Mrs.J.Rasanayagam Education

48

Mrs.V.Ravishankar Economics

49

Mrs.P.Muraleetharan Accounting

50

Ms.P.Sivapalan Accounting

51

Ms.T.Kanagalingam Accounting

52

Mr.J.Aloy Niresh Accounting

53

Mr.S.Gobinaath Mathematics & Statistics

54

Mrs.K.Hoole Library

55

Ms.S.Arulanantham Library

56

Dr.T.Kalamany Education

57

Prof.M.Sinnathamby Education

58

Prof.K.Sivananthamoorthy Philosophy

59

Mrs.S.Krishnakumar History

60

Mr.T.Arunakirinathan ELTC

61

Dr.K.Arunthavarajah History

62

N.Ravimannan Botany

63

N.Sabananthar Botany

64

C.Arunagirinathan Botany

65

A.W.Jeevanarajah Botany

66

Kothai  Seker Botany

67

T.Poojithreyi Botany

68

P.Auvai Botany

69

S.Subaragini Botany

70

S.Navaneethan Botany

71

A.Revathie Botany

72

P.T.J.Jashothan Botany

73

R.Selvarthnam Botany

74

B.Ragulan Botany

75

S.Ida Botany

76

S.Dalini Botany

77

J.Nandakumar Botany

78

A.C.Thavaranjit Botany

79

Mrs.M.Visakarooban Library

80

A. Ramanan Computer Science

81

J.P.Jeyadevan Chemistry

82

Dr.G. Sashikesh Chemistry

83

Dr.(Mrs).J.Prabagar Chemistry

84

Dr.P.Iyngaran Chemistry

85

Mrs.R.Senthooran Chemistry

86

Dr.P.Abiman Chemistry

 

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Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    But come on, if you are appointing to a teaching position, you certainly want the person to have good communication skills. These would not have been tested in written exams. That is why candidates are asked to give presentations and critical questions put to them at interview. Exam marks alone will not give you the right candidate.

    The way to solve bias and favoritism in the system, which I assume to be the real concern here, is to have external members in the appointment panel. Two experts / senior people from another institution could be invited to serve and advice on academic appointments. It is also good practice that if a candidate is closely connected to a member of the panel in a non-professional way (e.g. family member), that panel member declares interest and leaves the room when that candidate’s case is discussed. Or even better, opt out of the entire process if there is potential for perceived bias.

    Such good practice happens routinely in well established universities.

    The important thing is for U of J to learn good practice from other places. Not to try and invent wheels again. That is the best way to come out of the 30 years of isolation and move forward, particularly in the interest of the community you serve with admirable dedication.

    Please remember — you do have friends out there. Use them!

  • 2
    3

    Many signatories of this appeal also joined the Jaffna university academic positions through its back door in the past. As a past student of Jaffna University we know their real capabilities in their academic excellence compared to the other Universities in the other parts of Sri Lanka and the world. Because of these people, Jaffna University has already become/made mere a tuition center.

    What moral JUSTA has to make this appeal when they themselves promoted nepotism, back door entrants…etc for their own good.

    • 8
      1

      Sivamohan

      I agree with you. These people never spoke against the high-handed actions of the LTTE undermining education at the Jaffna University. To the contrary, they took advantage of the anarchy prevailing to advance their self-interests. Tigers insulted and intimidated many Jaffna academics including the VC Prof. Vithiyananthan. In one of the most shameful acts of Tamil militancy, he was attacked in his own house and his head was shaved. Prabakaran planted the terrorist-moron-rowdy Kajendran in Jaffna University as a student and later made him the student leader, and the rest is history as we all know.

      Jaffna man preaches accountability and transparency to the south, but his [Edited out].

      • 6
        1

        Correction:

        Jaffna man preaches accountability and transparency to the south, but desecrates his own house.

        • 0
          6

          Yeah yeah…. why do you jump at the Jaffna man? Individuals versus the whole community??

          • 8
            1

            Rohan

            Good question.

            The term “Jaffna man” was a conscious choice.

            The critique of the whole community for what you seem to believe are the “sins of the individuals” was intentional. We are talking about an institution supposed to be the cynosure of a community that is reputed to value education as one of its central pursuits given the limited economic avenues available to it. And the Jaffna university was established after a long and arduous struggle. What was the first thing that was achieved soon after the doors were open? The Sinhalese were kicked out, Christians were alienated, and the campus became the base for Saiva-Vellala fundamentalism and Tamil fascism. Whose fault was that……individuals?

            Outrages committed by individuals are often a manifestation of the prevailing ethos in the community/society as a whole. And again we are not talking about individual aberrations, but about the whole culture of “Jaffna one-upmanship”: anything goes as long as the ruler is the “illegitimate alien Sinhala government.” Yes, this was the mantra that was used by several generations of Jaffna Tamil public servants to justify their abusing the system, taking bribes, robbing the public purse and many other forms of corruption. In Jaffna culture “making money” and “being rich” were valued as ends in themselves irrespective of the means used to achieve them. The bottom line is Jaffna society is corrupt.

            It is not a big leap for the Tamil youth emerging from this degenerate civic culture to kill and maim innocent Sinhalese – and even their own people – in the greedy pursuit of a separate state. No wonder such a pitiless pursuit of unfettered greed made the moral foundation of what otherwise might have a been a just cause for legitimate rights crumble and fall paving the way to the colossal tragedy of Mullivaikkal.

            So the basic problem of Jaffna society is that it is suffering from a stunted growth in civic consciousness that values collective interests over narrow self-pursuits. The decline of intellectual standards at the University of Jaffna is definitely related to this moral collapse of Jaffna society as a whole.

            Arguably, this continuing decline of Jaffna society is related to the enduring dominance of patriarchy in all its spheres. This is where the “Jaffna man” comes in. He is the source of the Saiva-Vellala, ethno-fascist tendencies in Jaffna society. His unabated penchant for domination of women and children and other weaker, vulnerable sections of Tamil society (minorities within a minority – based on caste, religion and sexual orientation)is what has shaped the ideology of violence and corruption of the Jaffna mainstream society. It’s the Jaffna patriarchy based on casteism and ethnocentrism that is still dominating the public sphere in the north. The result is the carte blanche mentality giving rise to corruption and mismanagement of public institutions in Jaffna including its university.

            Will the people of Jaffna undertake a serious self-critique in order to get out of the intellectual morass and ethical quagmire into which they have fallen? Or, will they continue to dig their own grave by playing the usual blame game: attribute all their woes to a real or perceived external enemy? If the current trend of the Tamils in refusing to accept any responsibility or accountability for the Tiger debacle and their own collusion in human rights violations and war crimes are anything to go by – the prognosis doesn’t look good.

  • 5
    1

    It is very painful to say that the University of Jaffna has fallen into a bottomless pit, recovery from which is simply impossible if the present managers of this organization continue in the offices.
    What N. Shanmugalingan has started – Vasanthy Araseretnam is continuing with gusto. It should be noted that both of these individuals are very under qualified even to be appointed as temporary teaching assistants, yet they are fully fledged professors who are enjoying all the fringe benefits the system will yield…
    Jaffna University is renown for chasing away intellectuals, solid-researchers and those with commitment, by making them disheartened through various forms of harassment. Most of these people have run for their lives, many have left teaching permanently.
    I would say the University of Jaffna is a manufacturer of ‘chaos’, ‘calamity’ and ‘under qualified academicians who are not even capable to teach at kindergarten levels’….

  • 1
    2

    Ha Ha ha who cares merit & with language skills & researched presentation, if you have UPFA connection you are selected, automatically students were turned as buffoons .

  • 2
    3

    I am used to writing in Tamil. That’s my usual electronic writing/blogging mode – but, will try English, since that is what this forum accepts. Here goes…

    When Kailasapathy was around, he tried to project an overtly window-dressed image for the UOJ… He foresaw it rising to the heights of an academic leading star which could challenge the likes of Oxford and Harvard!

    This attitude is pretty-much common in a community which still holds on to the glories of their forefathers who owned elephants while eking-out meaningless lives (refer to M. A Nuhman’s Tamil poem, “thaththamaarum peararkalum” meaning “the grandfathers and their grandsons” – a critical satire of the present community of the North East).

    The so called, “Academic Star” has always been an eyesore – mainly due to certain high-class elitist Chauvinist elements holding firmly to the seats of power (by hook or crook). These elements, despite being unqualified, lacking intellectual capability and foresightedness have managed to continuously influence this University in to a wasteland of no-return.

    The present incumbent of the chair of Vice-Chancellor (sometimes, it is interesting to ponder why they call this position the ‘vice’ chancellor?) – Ms. Vasanthy Arasaretnam has a nondescript degree from somewhere in Tamil Nadu. Using this degree and her connection(s) – thanks to being part of the social-elitists of Jaffna, she has risen from temporary teacher to the seat of Professor in Medicine (despite having nothing connected to medicine in her portfolio), and later to the position of Vice Chancellor.

    Has she got any grasp of what the chief executive of the university should be doing to steer this organization from hostile seas into calm, resource abundant and productive places? Has she got the foresightedness to transform this organization to evolve as the driver of societal change (the positive way) and development in Northern Sri Lanka?

    If the forum can answer unanimously with a big “yes” – then I will rest my case…

    ‘Tis my humble opinion that this lady has no class nor quality to be heading an organization such as this… As part of the common masses of this country, we expect a lot from this institution, even though it has not/never delivered to expectations (at-least the bare-minimum?) so far.

    What are the systemic forces that determine the survival of Vasanthy Arasaretnam? Why do these forces exist? I will examine in the next post.

    (to be continued)…

    • 5
      1

      VARUVALALAN

      While I agree with all your views and sentiments regarding the sorry state of affairs at the University of Jaffna, I am afraid you pull the rug from under them by making a factul error. Or the error intentional? (Ever heard of Google?) You sound like you have some personal axe to grind. Vice Chancellor Vasanthi Arasaratnam did only her BSc at the University of Madras. But she got her MSc at the Univ. of Colombo, and her Phd at the Univ. of Jaffna. And you really think she is what you call a “social-elitist”? I thought she is the one who elbowed out the well known self-appointed social-elitist dickhead “you know whoooooool.”

  • 2
    0

    Take Colombo University famous family dept (Econ.) in Arts faculty. All recruitment are out door connections and family based. Son, sons friends, uncles, henchmen, lovers, etc. Why not appointing a retired Judge and find it and sack them. Now this corruptive key man is an emeritus to this Dept. Some even appoint as Lecturer because he agreed to marry this corruptive emritus friends daughter.

  • 2
    0

    Yes authorities (President appointed Committee) has to re-check all the publications and qualifications of Sri Lankan bogus professors. You will find less than 1% are real international professors. In order to be a professor your PhD must be from top ranking good University and minimum 20 publications in international high impact indexed journal such as ISI,SCOPUS, COMPENDEX..etc. Sack them and expose them for eating poor tax payers money covering to wrong title. Another faculties are worse than this. As Fedrick said this family dept in Colombo University is well known even in foreign countries. God bless for graduates of this dept and next 100 this Colombo University can not escape from this vicious cycle. Interesting thing University was given Emeritus to this corruptive low level man to further destroy this University and its image.

  • 2
    1

    Why no one is asking President to appoint Commission and recheck Colombo University Arts faculty family Dept. and its appointment from last 25 years. You will see grade “A” theory. If you appoint grade “C” person you end up after 20 years with “Z” grade people. This is Sri Lankan University Professors’ vicious cycle case. Take all Sri Lankan Universities this is the today reality.

    UGC, VCs, Deans and Heads must be hacked to death for this disaster done to Sri Lankan Universities.

    Medical Doctor Shamila thanks for your million worth idea.

  • 2
    3

    Mr. Hilmy,

    Dear Sir,

    How and why did Vasanthy obtain her MSc from Colombo? Who were her research supervisors? Why did she do her PhD in Jaffna? Why couldn’t she secure a PhD studentship in another university?

    And, nowadays why does she visit a certain former ‘theater’ in Jaffna Town?

    Is she hailing from a family who were poor tenant farmers or farm laborers? If NOT, then she is also an elitist leo-hunter (refer the Dickensian Pickwick Papers) ain’t she?

    If Hoole is NOT so cool. For being the impractical, self-pitying and self-advertising chaos theorist he is… then Vasanthy should also be considered a comprehensive corrupting element for being an uncreative person with no academic pedigree.

    You sir, should think, re-think and start to fling words to confront others…

    Adios.

    • 5
      1

      Varuvalalan

      You seem such an utterly dejected soul that you don’t even realise you have to acknowledge that you made a factual error in order to use the correct information that I provided to launch further attacks. Or are you ashamed that your cheap attempt to mislead the readers by giving false information regarding Vasanthy’s qualification misfired, and you don’t want to draw further attention to your misdemeanor. That shows you are an easily excitable, immature emotional wreck. Learn to remain calm when we are discussing matters of public interest. Or is it? It sounds like this matter is very personal to you. Do you have a fixation on Vasanthy? Were you given the boot by her? Your slip is showing.

      We are talking about a social issue: the lowering of intellectual standards and total mismanagement at the University of Jaffna. Learn to keep the discussion at that level, and don’t try to drag it down to your gutter of personal vendetta. You sound like an old miserable denizen of the grim Dickensian world. Snap out of it!

      Get a grip on yourself. Get over your obsessions. Life is short, make the best of whatever is still left for you.

  • 0
    1

    There is nothing wrong in pointing out the misconduct of certain people in powerful positions inside the faculties. Someone has to raise his/her voice to correct the wrongdoings of the past. No civilised society can allow this type of practices to continue inside an educational institution which consumes vast amount of public money to function..

  • 2
    1

    Mr. Hilmy,

    This is a forum to discuss education, and the consequent social development. Not a cheap/misguided forum for throwing abusive comments at each other.

    What should be done to enable corrective action towards improving higher education in Sri Lanka? This should be the focus of all concerned.

  • 2
    1

    Dear Mr. Hilmy,

    Vasanthy A. is just a symptom of a plague which is tormenting our society. Just was used as an example, it doesn’t matter if this person had education at Colombo, Peradeniya or Timbuktu.

    The fact is, the University of Jaffna has fallen into the present state of degradation thanks to the arrogance, un-foresightedness, cronyism, nepotism and corruptive practices propagated by the so called “saiva vellala elitists”.

    And, please note that your comments and verbal assault are also symptoms of the same plague mentioned in the first paragraph. This proves/shows which angle you want to take and why you are forced to do so…

    It is paramount that the higher educational system in the North should be revamped to become in-par with the social and developmental needs of this region.

    How should this be done? First of all what are the roles of a university in determining/influencing the positive evolution of a modern community? Let’s think in these directions. We need positive thinking to improve, and continue to improve………

  • 2
    0

    Please comment on the list of publications at http://www.jfn.ac.lk/med/?staffs=prof-ms-vasanthy-arasaratnam

    for example: “23.Vinitharan, V., Balakumar, S., Sivarathy A., Arasaratnam, V. and Muhunthan, K. (2012). Prevalence of metabolic syndrome among adults aged 20 to 69 years in Kopay Divisional Secretariat Division. Proceedings of the 19th Annual Sessions of the Jaffna Science Association. 19(1): pp 47.”

    Now refer to comments by Medical Specialist (Dr) Shamila Fernando.

    If I (being a nondescript, no good, illiterate, unscientific commoner) write an article to the Colombo Telegraph Children’s Corner on the prevalence of diabetes in Sri Lanka, and can that be considered as a work of science for my future professorship?????

    Or, if I (still being a nondescript, no good, illiterate, unscientific commoner) were employed at the UoJ, will my article in the Children’s Corner be accepted as a scientific publication????

    In that case, I think UoJ as an institution has some kind of alchemical property which allows normal paragraphs to be transformed into scientific (and cutting edge) ‘so called publications’.

    This being the case, it will be a practical (and cost effective) solution for all universities in the world to follow UoJ! We will then have professors in millions – almost one in five of the human population will then be able to become a senior professor!!!!!!

  • 3
    1

    Varuvalalan
    Kumastha

    You two were the ones mentioning names and making personal attacks on individuals, whereas I was the one urging the discussion be kept at a civilized level by not resorting to outright lies and instead focusing on the current degenerate situation at Jaffna University as a social issue. I’m glad you two are coming around. I don’t care about any individual. If Vasanthy and Shanmugalingam and any others are no good, kick them out right now. I’m all for it. Why are you keeping them?

    Now with regard to what is ailing Jaffna University, you don’t have to be an Einstein to figure this out. The primary cause is the moral decline of Jaffna society as a whole. I agree entirely with the excellent analysis of this general decline of Jaffna society provided by “Just M.E.” above. And this primary cause paves the way to so many secondary causes such as people increasingly pursuing education purely for monetary reasons rather than for intellectual curiosity.

    No wonder the educational standards are declining and academic cheating is rife. Jaffna society which prides itself as a community that values education should take immediate steps to restore education to its rightful place by encouraging learning for the sake of learning.

    Another secondary cause is political interference coming from national and local levels. Whenever there is political interference whether from the government, EPDP or TNA/NPC it should be exposed and fought against openly. If individuals resist political interference they may be victimized. So instead it should be collective action by all academic and administrative staff just like this appeal.

    The selection process for all academic and top administrative positions should be very transparent so as to stamp out favouritism. One of the ways to ensure the process is transparent is to make the selection criteria uniform, rational and as much as possible objective as suggested by this appeal. I entirely agree with the sentiments expressed in this appeal.

  • 3
    1

    As a student of Jaffna university, we know the caliber of our lecturers compared to the other universities around the world. This is the result of manipulations in granting marks and classes/grades in the final examinations by the lecturers in the particular departments and faculties. Subsequently they do the similar kind of manipulations in appointing their preferred ones as permanent lecturers of those department. Really, speaking in this situation students cannot expect better performances from these kind of lecturers.
    Professorships are also granted based on their rubbish writings in the local daily news papers or self made publications.

    Today these people have become heads of departments and deans of faculties , profs. etc. etc.

    Totally the standard & the past glory of the Jaffna university has almost gone down.

    Hope some correct thinking people will do something to gain its past glory.

  • 0
    1

    Current requirement policy of University lecturers is More Political. The Chairman of UNI GRAnd COMM too a politically appointed one. Further her husband too appointed as a vice chancellor due to his pro government and the Sinhala Nationalist Policy.

    This is why most of our intellectuals going abroad and settled there.

    What a shame.

  • 1
    0

    Hilmy,

    Good to know we all are finally on the same page. Even though, I wouldn’t like to be on the same boat with you…. that’ll be bad!!!

    But, I still think it is essential to expose the persons who contribute to the deterioration of the system. Else they continue to take different forms despite system changes/improvements to make sure they reap the benefits.

    Everyone understands what plagues the University of Jaffna (as you rightfully say, but…..please don’t take it as a personal attack).

    Can anyone tell me where to begin – so we can start to make an attempt to (finally) tackle the real problem???????

  • 1
    0

    Hilmy has stated (January 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm): //Another secondary cause is political interference coming from national and local levels. Whenever there is political interference whether from the government, EPDP or TNA/NPC it should be exposed and fought against openly. If individuals resist political interference they may be victimized. So instead it should be collective action by all academic and administrative staff just like this appeal.//

    Is collective action possible in a place where there is no unity? Change and enforcement should come from the top level itself…. when can the UGC start to play its intended (by default) role of the enforcer of academic protocol(s)?????????????

  • 2
    0

    Curriculum Vitae of Academic Beyondcompare, Bsc (India), MSc (Colombo), PhD (Jaffna)
    ———————————————————————–

    Name: Academic Beyondcompare
    Date of Birth: Jan 1, 1955
    Address: A Socially Upward(ly) Mobile, Rich and Powerful Neighborhood in Jaffna
    Political Affiliation: Any Party that is in Power

    Academic Skills:

    1. Ability to change ‘colors’ – A human Chamaleon
    2. Skilled in transforming undergraduate dissertation work into papers for the Jaffna Non-Scientific Association Journal
    3. Knowledgeable in giving parties, bribes, alcoholic beverages as gifts to persons in positions to ensure personal job security and progress
    4. Belonging to the “Saiva Velllala Elitist Group” or to any pretender group that is comparable to the former.
    5. Married to the Dean’s daughter who hasn’t managed to pass the GCE Ordinary Levels
    6. Ability to command a multi million rupee dowry from the father-in-law plus a luxury apartment in Wellawatte

    Qualifications:

    1.BSc from a non-descript university in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India (equivalent of a tutory in Jaffna Town)
    2. MSc from Colombo University – obtained through connections of father-in-law, research supervisor was Father-in-law’s brother in-law with connections in Peradeniya and UGC
    3. PhD from Jaffna based on works of non-science published in the Jaffna Non-Scientific Association Journal and two or three books published by self (using money from dowry)

    Positions Held:

    1. Son-in-law of the Dean
    2. Friend of the Vice-Chancellor’s drinking buddy
    3. Life-Time Head of the Department of Cronyism, Faculty of Plagiarism
    4. Organizer of the Cultural Extravaganza for celebrating the Father-in-law’s (also called as the Dean) 35 years of academic service

    Publications:

    Everything that can be grabbed and stolen. Even the Colombo Telegraph could be also considered as a publication.

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    Curriculum Development Strategies – ‘a Jaffna Perspective’
    by
    Academic Beyondcompare
    Department of Cronyism, Faculty of Plagiarism, University of J***na
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    (Presented at the 1001st International Conference of the Jaffna Non-Scientific Association in October 23rd, 2013 at the Casuarina Beach, Jaffna)

    Abstract:

    Development of appropriate curriculum to ensure stability of the high class Saiva Vellala Elitist caste continues to wield power and control in the higher educational system of the Northern Province has been identified as a critical requirement in the present socio-developmental scene. This paper details how curriculum needs to be designed and operationalized to ensure the system continues to produce highly selfish, arrogant, opportunist and sly individuals who can take cronyism, nepotism and plagiarism to the next level. Using the time tested model of ‘harassment and threat’ as the tool of investigation, the researcher concludes that educational system development is not necessary, as long as the operationalization of nepotism, cronyism and plagiarism is ensured in the curriculum dissemination process. It is recommended that the curriculum should be strategized to foster nepotism and cronyism in-order to achieve the principle goal of a high class (i.e. Saiva Vellala Elitists) maintaining its status and power to wield enough influence to assure all academic positions are filled using cronies of the big-shots.

    Key Words: High Class, Status, Power, Influence, Position

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    A Letter to Mr. S.R.H. Hoole, D.Sc. (Eng.) London, Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon, M.Sc. with a Mark of Distinction London,
    B.Sc. Eng. Hons. Ceylon (Katubedde Campus)
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    Dear “Mr”. Hoole (as you have delightfully and repeatedly shown/proven in many a forum, that – you being the recipient of a “D.Sc.” have no use for being referred to as “Dr” as in the case of lesser doctorates with PhDs that are littered all over),

    First of all, I take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and prosperous 2014. I am very glad that you would have celebrated Christmas and New Year in North America where there is actual snow. For us poor peasants, in the North of Sri Lanka… Christmas is a make believe affair, as you would probably know it never snows here; and the poor soul dressing up as father Christmas sweats it out in his costume (always)!

    I am a very very humble citizen of this island, and I have always been in awe of people like you (regardless of the fact whether they belong to the Saiva Velllala Elitists or to the breakaways who have become the neo-Vellala Christian Elitists). It is simply amazing to know that you people have degrees and designations that stretch for miles and miles after your names. It must feel very good to be educated, to be a doctor of science, and also be considered as an “intellectual”.

    However, (I being a humble Citizen) still cannot understand what intellectuals are supposed to do??!?

    For example, a street peddler will sell anything from counterfeit cigarettes to anything that can be imagined which can be smuggled or counterfeited. Hence, his profession can be defined as a seller of counterfeit goods. Likewise, how can an intellectual’s role and functions be defined?

    As per my understanding (I wish to reinstate the fact that I am an illiterate underdog…. no, no, no… definitely not a DARK horse), the characteristics and functions of an intellectual, based on my readings of contemporary stories/articles and discussions of the University of Jaffna can be stated as,

    1.(An intellectual) is a person who repeatedly (and always) says that he/she is an intellectual, and by saying that – he/she acquires a certain level of indemnity and superiority in present day Northern Society.

    2.He/she will produce articles (usually written in English) which will have pages/paragraphs copied and pasted from the internet. These articles will be considered as ‘research papers’. (Note: work of similar quality could also be produced by a school kid, but will not be considered as a research paper because he/she is not an intellectual attached to the University of Jaffna).

    3.An intellectual will always be a head/dean or director (of something/nothing) in the University.

    4.He/she will spend more time at home (in most cases usually in Colombo) than at work.

    5.An intellectual will never teach – his/her assistant will teach and run the lectures.

    6.An intellectual has the ability to comment on anything. For example, he/she could have postgrad qualification (could have been acquired in any possible illogical way) in Electronics but will pry his/her nose into theology, and can consequently become the Pope (if he/she wants to).

    7.Intellectual will criticize (always) even when people are making genuine efforts to improve.

    8.Intellectuals like to be chief guests at functions (ranging from Kindergarten Sports Meet Events to Sewing and Handicraft Association Exhibitions conducted by your local grandmothers’ club).

    9.Intellectuals will belong to a political party as long as it is in power.

    10.UGC cannot regulate the academic freedom of intellectuals.

    11.Academic Freedom (of intellectuals) gives them special super powers such as the ability to turn lies into truth, cases of worst financial mismanagement to examples of ethical fund managements and etc.

    12.Intellectuals should have a history that is older than the dinosaurs. Which implies that intellectuals will never become extinct due to their ‘super-duper powers’. They don’t need to change – but will bend the environment and system to yield them with benefits. If Darwin were here with us today, he would have defined intellectuals as a species which is the utmost example of evolutionary homogeneity and stagnation.

    13.All intellectuals (by birth, class, social connection, and marriage) are entitled to ‘senior professor’ posts.

    14.Once again, it needs to be emphasized that the UGC cannot (by any means) regulate the actions of an intellectual…..

    Mr. Hoole…. Sir,

    I would like you to help me on this little project-undertaking of mine by contributing to fine-tune my definition of ‘intellectuals’. As always (being an illiterate underdog, my intellect is limited – but, I have seen/heard a lot since I continue to live and suffer in this region/place/country.

    Would your esteemed ‘Mister’ness be willing to help me out on this quest please?

    And, by the way… do you reckon that Jaffna could ever (possibly) experience a ‘white Christmas’?

    I know that you were once considered the academic Santa Claus for Jaffna, hence my request… as such, I yearn for a white Christmas… since, all of us here are tired being burdened with this great big ‘white elephant’ called the University of Jaffna… this is a burden we (most definitely) cannot tolerate anymore!!!

    Thank You.

    Yours Truly,
    Varuvalalan

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