GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - Serious allegations of misbehaviour and mental harassment have been levelled against a faculty member of the Psychology Department of the Cotton University, leading to a major section of students abstaining from classes.
Though the University authorities claim that the matter has been sorted out at administrative level and no academic discomfort would be caused, the students alleged that the issue is not being handled with the required seriousness, which might lead to further harassment of the whistleblowers.
In two separate representations to the Vice Chancellor of the Cotton University, the students of MA first semester and third semester of the Psychology Department of the University brought the allegations of mental torture, misbehaviour, manipulation and exploitation of the students against the Head of the Department.
The teacher concerned, who was released from the assignment of Head (in-charge) of the Department on November 23, 2017 (vide letter no CU/GAD/2013/028/8014-16), when contacted, said that all the allegations brought against her were false and she was being framed. She also raised the question as to why the allegations were cropping up just ahead of the examinations.
It may be noted that the grievances of the students of MA third semester against the teacher were conveyed to the Registrar of the University on November 17 last, whereas the first semester students wrote to the Vice Chancellor on November 20. In both the letters, similar charges against the same faculty members have been brought, raising questions about the administrative efficiency of a prime educational institution of the State.
Again, five guest faculties of the department also wrote to the VC expressing their concerns over the malfunctioning of the department and the mental harassment by the same faculty member.
Other than the charges like invading personal space and unruly behaviour, the matter of using the students for running personal errands of the faculty member has also been brought up.
Though a fact-finding committee was constituted by the University, after which the teacher concerned was relieved from the charge of HoD, the students alleged that the measure has been taken temporarily and is in no way a solution of their long-pending issues.
�The fact-finding team of the University has heard all the allegations and all the parties involved, and recommended intermediate measures. The students have now resumed their departmental activities. As a few academic days have been lost, the exams have been rescheduled. We are ensuring that no academic discomfort is caused to the students,� Cotton University Registrar Professor Shikhar Sarma told The Assam Tribune.
He further said that the department has been assigned another Head in-charge, a senior faculty member, who will ensure that the department runs smoothly.