Mangaluru: MU’s 30-year-old post-graduate department of mass communication and journalism is severely short-staffed. In May Prof G P Shivaram retired after an extension has left the department with Waheeda Sultana as lone permanent staff for the other permanent staff Umesh Chandra is on deputation to non-teaching post in the university. This means the department is largely dependent on guest lecturers to run the show.
Having started in 1988 with staffing pattern of a professor, two readers (now associate professors) and two lecturers (assistant professors), the department as per the university’s latest annual report has a vacancy each to the posts of assistant and associate professor and a professor. With Waheeda, a professor, too slated to superannuate from services in December, the department is looking at stop gap arrangements pending fresh recruitment against sanctioned posts.
Shivaram, who demitted office as chairman of department on superannuation, told media that steps taken by then vice-chancellor K Byrappa to fill the vacancies hit a legal roadblock with the state government over Hyderabad-Karnataka quota. “We started the department with five sanctioned posts and off late were managing the show with guest lecturers, which is not an uncommon phenomenon in the education set up,” he said adding things should ease with permanent staff.
The department till 2010 was functioning at full strength with K V Nagaraj heading it and Shivaram, Poornananda, Maheshchandra Guru, Waheeda and Umeshchandra making up the numbers. While Nagaraj retired in 2010, Poornananda got a transfer to Kuvempu University, Maheshchandra to University of Mysore. Umeshchandra who shortly thereafter ran in to swell of protests by students against him has been on deputation to a non-teaching post within the university.
Fresh appointment to the department happening any time soon, too, is doubtful in that the university has an in-charge VC in Kishore Kumar C K. With PG classes scheduled to start sometime in July/August, the department could well be forced to run the show for the forthcoming academic year with Waheeda and guest lecturers. Shivaram averred the department could utilize services of serving professionals as it has been doing so for quite some time now to help students.
Website neglected : The department in the university website still shows Shivaram, Waheeda and journalist Sugata Srinivasaraju on its list of faculty. Sugata incidentally is an adjunct faculty. The department has an intake of 34 with 16 in general merit, eight in partially self-financing scheme and 10 extra seats and is well equipped with digital, still and video/TV cameras, TV studio with cool lights, teleprompter and latest editing softwares such as Adobe Audition, FCP and AVID.