Upgrading Engineering Education in India – 2: HRD as part of Institution Building: by Raju Swamy: July 07, 2009
(This is a follow-thru on my earlier article “Upgrading Engineering Education in India –1: New Role for the Professional Teacher: by Raju Swamy: May 10, 2009”. In this finalinstalment, an attempt is made at providing a Management and HRD Strategy for institutes of higher learning, like engineering colleges, in terms of a specific ActionPlan. The original version was published in ‘THE HINDU’ of Tuesday, November 13,1990.)1. Before an action plan for organization development can be initiated, certain groundrules have to be set:
1.1. Heads of Departments and teachers at all levels in the college must accept that theresponsibility of an engineering educational institution which caters to bothundergraduate and postgraduate education will encompass Teaching. Research,and Consultancy.1.2. That involvement in Research and Consultancy will enrich the quality of teachersand teaching.1.3. Teachers have to be “accountable” like any other working professional.
2. Once the Ground Rules have been understood ‘The Action Plan’ can be initiated:2.1.
To incorporate and promote Research and Consultancy as key functional areas ineach department in addition to teaching, senior HODs need to be given theadditional responsibility of overseeing one each of the above for the purpose of monitoring progress.
They could be designated Dean of Teaching, Dean of Research, and Dean of Consultancy.2.2.
The Deans, as a first step, wIll work with each HOD and their respective teams onestablishing the most rational priority or weightage to each of the objectives in eachdepartment keeping in mind the capacity of the department and felt-needs of theenvironment in which they work.
Once the priorities are fixed for each functional activity, the HODs of the respectivedepartments will be required to allocate down the line “weighted” roles to each of the teachers in their department again based on aptitude and other personal factors.This marks broadly the initiation of
The next phase of the “accountability” programme would be for the HODs to initiate,first within their departments and later among themselves, a broad, mutuallyagreeable, monitorable job description (job expectation) for different levels of professors, lecturers, and other teaching and research staff.
It is advisable for the job description to evolve from within as such a step wouldensure not only an improvement over the past but at the same time easeimplementation. Also since external formula will always be “suspect” – or prone toresistance ---- an internal formula will carry with it a degree of self-motivation tosucceed.
To accomplish this task, the Deans/HODs will have to modify their style of functioning where required – become less hierarchial and more motivational.