The Hindu | July 28, 2016 | National » Tamil Nadu | Karthik Madhavan |
Due to poor student strength, collegesfacing a TOUGH TIME
Sometime ago, when the management of an engineering college in Coimbatore advertised vacancies in teaching positions, it got an overwhelming response. A representative of the management said that for eight posts, he received more than 2,000 applications. This would not be the case until a few years ago when faculty were in great demand. Colleges then vied with one another to recruit faculty and most often lured them with attractive pay packet, says T.D. Eswaramoorthy, Chairman, Easa College of Engineering and Technology. Today, though, colleges are hardly recruiting and are keen on trimming faculty strength. This is because most colleges do not have full house of students. Depending on the popularity, age of the college and various other factors, the number of seats left unfilled remains high.
Given the poor student strength, the colleges are going through a tough time financially and therefore not recruiting faculty. Instead, the colleges have started reducing faculty strength and this has increased the number of those looking for jobs, he explains. This has led to a situation where faculty are keener on retaining jobs than looking for new ones with better pay packets, says an academic. Therefore, the attrition rate has come down. Until a few years ago, faculty with doctorate and less than 45 years of age were offered principal’s post and that too with fat pay packets. Those were the days when colleges were also keen to get AICTE accreditation by having the right student-faculty ratio. But now things have changed with poor admissions. The academic says that most of those who have been sent out and are looking for jobs are experienced faculty because the colleges are unable to pay salary that matches experience, especially when they were trying to reduce cost on account of poor admission. The colleges, therefore, target senior, experienced faculty and in their place promote faculty with relatively lesser experience for almost half the salary. A representative of a college management said colleges are now able to recruit principals for two-thirds of the salary they paid until three years ago. The college management representative said the trend was likely to continue until the engineering colleges got together to address the issue of seats remaining unfilled. – Courtesy