Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pak b-school scouts for dean

The Economist (May 12) carries an ad by the Lahore University of Management Sciences for the post of Dean of its School for Humanities and Social Sciences. A Search Committee has been created for the purpose. The same issue carries an ad by the State Bank of Pakistan for five chair professorships it has created. The compensation for the chairs: Rs 2.5 lakh per month. The SBP ad especially urges academics outside Pakistan to apply.

What this tells me is that Pakistan's educational institutions have mounted an international talent search (none of the ads state that the applicant must be a Pakistani citizen). It also points to unsuspected strengths in Pakistani institutions in general. (I have often been surprised at the quality of reporting and comment in Pakistani newspapers and the sheer courage of journalists in speaking their minds in what is essentially a military dictatorship).

How often have you seen such ads by India's top schools? There is a presumption among India's elite institutions that leaders and chair professors must be from within their fraternity. Top schools in the west have no such hang-ups. London Business School and Insead in Europe regularly bring in talent from across the Atlantic or from industry. US business schools mount an open search for deans and chair professors.

Indian academia may be very good at preaching openness, competition and globalisation to the rest of the world but is loth to practice it within its own portals.


Abi said...

The government-mandated pay may be a drag, when it comes to attracting top talent from abroad. But this explanation works only for places like IITs and IIMs.

Private institutions are certainly free to hire the best -- cost no bar! But, is there any evidence to show that our private management institutions are led by people with superior skills and accomplishments? Heck, is there any evidence that the faculty in these institutions are paid better (and are objectively better) than their (unfortunate) counterparts in public institutions?

T T Ram Mohan said...

Thanks, Abi, I give my comments in a recent post.