Quality faculty a major concern: IIM-A chief

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Ahmedabad, Nov 18: Dr Samir Barua, the newly appointed director of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, (IIM-A) has said the major impediment IIM-A is facing today is the availability of faculty.

Addressing mediapersons, in his first media interaction after taking over as the new director five days back, Dr Barua said yesterday that IIM-A is facing three challenges -- internal resource development (financial crunch), infrastructure and funding.

''We have been around for 46 years so we believe in having financial independence. This is our objective to work on. We do not wish to be in a situation where we should ask for funding,'' he said.

Today the number of partnerships have gone up to 50 over the years. Even foreign faculty is interested, which was not the case five years ago. We get faculty from everywhere. India today is far more attractive than what it was, Dr Barua said adding that there was no need to go to HRD ministry to get additional faculty.

''Our faculty strength today is 85 and I think we require an additional 15 in different areas to be reasonably comfortable,'' he said.

Answering a question, he said that tentatively faculty student ratio should be 12 to 15 students for each faculty.

On internal funding, Dr Barua said that part of IIM-A funding could come from admission and consultation, from expanding IIM memberships and from the alumni who are in large numbers.

Another worry that is dogging IIM-A could be the non-teaching staff. Many officers are retiring or on verge of retirement. It is equally challenging to get a quality non-teaching staff, he said. He said he will be meeting IIM-A Board Chairman Vijaypat Singhania on November 22.

Interestingly Dr Barua takes over as director of IIM-A after being in the faculty since November 1980. He has wide experience in teaching and has taught in the US Bentley College and in Europe. He has authored and co-authored over 180 papers/articles.

He has co-authored two books ''The Great Indian Scam: story of the missing Rs 4000 crore'' and ''Portfolio Management.'' He is also winner of many awards, one of them being the ''Best Teacher 2001''award from the Association of Indian Management Schools (AIMS).

He has also been in the board of different corporations and audit committees.


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