In a first, IIM-Indore selects director with less than 10 years’ experience as professor

New Delhi, November 2, 2018: The Indian Institute of Management-Indore has selected a candidate with less than 10 years of experience as a professor to succeed R T Krishnan as the next director, in a departure from convention. The Board of Governors (BoG), headed by Deepak M Satwalekar, met on Wednesday to deliberate over four names shortlisted by the search-cum-selection committee for the director’s post and selected Himanshu Rai of IIM-Lucknow for the top job, The Indian Express has learnt.

Sougata Ray, a professor of strategic management at IIM-Calcutta, Neharika Vohra, who teaches organisational behaviour at IIM-Ahmedabad and Arindam Banerjee, also of IIM-Ahmedabad, were also in the fray for the post according to reports published in indianexpress.com

According to Rai’s official website, he has been a professor of human resource management at IIM-Lucknow since February 2017.

IIM directors, in the past, have always been professors with at least 10 years of experience. In fact, the draft Rules under the IIM Act, currently being prepared by the HRD Ministry, reiterate 10-year professorship as a criterion for appointment as director.

When contacted over the issue, Satwalekar did not wish to comment on the matter.

As per the new IIM Act, which came into effect on January 31, the Board is empowered to appoint the institute’s director, who was earlier selected by the Union government. It’s unclear if an institute, in the absence of Rules under the IIM Act, can ignore the convention of appointing heads with at least 10 years of experience as a professor.

The advertisement published by IIM-Indore inviting applications for the director’s post does not mention any minimum qualification for the director, except that the candidates should preferably be below the age of 60 as on the last date of application (September 4).

 IIM-Indore’s choice is even more interesting against the backdrop of IIM-Amritsar recently scrapping the panel of three finalists proposed by a selection committee for the director’s post because at least two candidates did not have 10 years’ experience as professors. It’s not clear if the precedent set by IIM-Indore will be followed by other institutes, especially, IIM-Amritsar.

Rai, who has done his Phd from IIM-Ahmedabad, was the dean of the India campus of SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan from September 2014 to August 2016 and has authored three books. As the convenor of the Common Admission Test or CAT in 2010, he successfully led the exam’s shift from offline to online mode. He is expected to join IIM-Indore as its director in December after Krishnan’s term ends.

Lucknow: IIM-Lucknow director Ajit Prasad died after a prolonged illness on Wednesday afternoon. Prasad, 61, had suffered a heart attack on October 13 and had since been recuperating in SGPIMS. Prasad had assumed charge as IIM-Lucknow director in 2015. An expert on strategic management and corporate social responsibility, Prasad has also worked with the IIM-Raipur and Delhi University. —ENS

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