More than 100 faculty members of the University of Delhi have signed a letter to the Vice-Chancellor expressing their shock and alarm at the issue of show cause notices to 11 teachers of the Department of English and urging the Vice-Chancellor to withdraw the notices. The signatories from 23 departments include more than 40 professors, several Heads of Department and two Deans of faculties.
The text of the letter is as follows:
Professor Dinesh Singh
University of Delhi
Subject: Show cause notices issued to teachers in Department of English
Dear Professor Singh,
We, the undersigned, are deeply shocked and alarmed by the show cause notices issued by the Registrar to 11 colleagues in the Department of English for having resigned from committees of the Department Council. Their resignation from these committees was to put moral pressure on the Head to call a meeting of the Departmental Council to discuss several urgent academic matters, which despite several written requests by the teachers, had not been called. That the resignation from committees constituted by the Department Council can be considered as tantamount to being on ‘strike’ is illogical since the teachers’ concern was to restore the functioning of the Department Council. The judgement of the High Court order on Kalindi College mentioned in the show cause notices has no relevance to University appointed teachers as it refers to Ordinance XVIII, which pertains to colleges.
In the past Heads of Departments have often encountered serious differences which have been sorted out within the Department itself. When differences have persisted, the Vice-Chancellor as Head of the University has mediated and resolved the issues. The decision to instead issue show cause notices is unprecedented and dangerous and threatens to destroy the free exchange of ideas that is the bedrock of any university worth its name.
We strongly protest against the action to issue these show cause notices and urge you to withdraw them. We appeal to you to reflect on the disastrous consequences of such an action for the academic culture and future of our University.