Crisis Facing St Stephen's College sign now

Governing Body
St. Stephen's College

Subject: The concerns of the Alumni* of St. Stephen's College about the state of affairs in the College.

The Alumni of the College, spread over several decades, owe a profound sense of commitment and belonging to College and, for that reason, whatever hurts the image of the institution is a matter of utmost concern for every alumnus.

We have come to know from teachers of the College as well as media reports, about the crisis facing the College today. We have been told that the time-honoured tradition of the College, by which the Principal also served as Treasurer, has been broken without any plausible justification. Furthermore, the names of all the teachers recommended by the Principal for the post of Bursar have been rejected by the Governing Body, which is also unprecedented in its history. As a result, the College has been functioning without a Bursar for almost two months, which, apart from crippling the administration of the College, could land the College in serious difficulties with the University which has made the appointment of a Bursar a legal requirement, in order to assist the Principal in the handling of college funds.
We understand that the University of Delhi has, through its representative, submitted to the Governing Body, a written clarification that, according to the relevant University Ordinance, " the Governing Body on the recommendation of the Principal shall appoint the Bursar" and that any appointment of Bursar in violation of the provisions of the Ordinance of the University shall not be recognized by the University.

Even otherwise, the College is obliged by its own Constitution to comply with conditions for grant-in aid. Going contrary to the same would bring the College in conflict with the University Grants Commission. This, in turn, could jeopardize the financial viability of the institution. Even though the long-standing healthy convention of the Principal serving as the Treasurer has been violated, let the situation not be aggravated further by going against the University Ordinance, which will vitiate the relationship of the College with the University.

We the alumni of the College request you to avoid confrontation with the University, and to let the Principal appoint a Bursar of his choice. This also provides for better checks and balances. This makes eminent sense, as the Principal and the Bursar have to work closely together.

All through its long and illustrious history, the internal administration of the College has never been interfered with, which has helped the College greatly in preserving the coherence and competence of the institution. Regrettably, the College has gone through a long period of administrative instability in the last few years, from which it has been recovering under the present administrative team. It is unfortunate that this process of recovery is being disrupted for whatever reasons.

Out of love and concern for College, we earnestly appeal to the Members of the Supreme Council and Governing Body as well as the Principal to work together, with the welfare of the institution as the guiding principle.

*For the purpose of this petition the term Alumni includes all (current and former) faculty of the College.

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Jeffery PageBy:
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The Chairman, Members of the Governing Body


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