IIM Calcutta (IIM-C) director Anju Seth has resigned from the post almost a year before her term ends. This comes almost a month after the board of governors clipped her powers to make appointments and take disciplinary action.
The board has received Professor Seth’s resignation and will meet sometime this week to deliberate on the next steps, said a member of the IIM-C board.
Seth’s term was to end in February 2022.
There had been tension between the board and Seth for some months now. According to media reports, Seth had accused chairperson, Shrikrishna G Kulkarni, of infringing on her executive powers and the board, in turn, was understood to have accused her of improper conduct. The confrontation had led to an early search for her successor.
While the argument with the board is in focus right now, a conflict with the faculty surfaced much earlier.
“In the first 6-7 months, we had flagged issues with the board about director Seth’s style and approach. The board gave us a formal hearing in December 2019,” said a senior professor of the institute. The issues were raised by the IIM Faculty Association, which represents about 75 per cent of the faculty.
Among the major issues were faculty recruitment. “In the last two years, some faculty members had retired and some resigned. But positions were not being filled,” the professor said, adding that there was a trust deficit between the faculty and the director.
According to the IIM Act, the board of governors, the director and the academic council are the three important pillars.
“An institution will run well if all the three pillars work together, which is the intention of act also,” the professor said.
Seth, the first woman director of IIM-C, took charge in November 2018. An alumnus of IIM-C, Seth held the position of Pamplin Professor of Management at Virginia Tech, US, prior to slipping into the role of director. Before that was professor of business administration at University of Illinois.