IIM-Calcutta's first woman director quits amid conflict with the Board

Sagar Malik
·2-min read


22 Mar 2021: IIM-Calcutta's first woman director quits amid conflict with the Board

Anju Seth, the first woman Director of the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta (IIM-C), has quit the post almost one year before her term ends.

The resignation has come just two days after she went on a sick leave, making Prashant Mishra, Dean (New Initiatives and External Relations), in charge as the Acting Director.

Her term was supposed to end in February 2022.

Here's more.

Fact: 'Acceptance of her resignation not clear yet'

"Seth has resigned...Acceptance of her resignation and till what time she will continue in the position is yet not clear," a source was quoted as saying by Mint. The search for Seth's successor is reportedly underway.

Details: Move comes amid a confrontation between Director, Board

The development has happened amid an unprecedented confrontation between the Director and the Institute's Board.

She had accused chairperson Shrikrishna Kulkarni of infringing on her powers while the Board had accused her of improper conduct.

These differences reportedly led to a full-blown crisis after the Board cleared a resolution against Seth depriving her of powers to make appointments and take disciplinary action.

Details: 75% faculty leveled allegations against Seth

In a letter to the Ministry of Education sent last December, more than 75% of the faculty had alleged that Seth centralized powers and usurped their administrative and decision-making roles.

However, Seth had denied the allegations saying it was the work of "a small group of individuals," apparently upset over her efforts to foster a culture of transparency and accountability.

Fact: Search for Seth's successor was started earlier this month

In fact, the Board even started an early search for Seth's successor in first week of March by advertising the position. This was done even though an IIM Act states the Board should initiate a new director's appointment nine months before the post getting vacant.

Career: Seth was appointed IIM-C Director in 2018

Seth was appointed as the first woman head of IIM-Calcutta in November 2018.

She is an alumnus of IIM-C's 1978 batch and also has a doctorate from the University of Michigan (1988).

She had joined Virginia Tech in 2008 and led its department of management from 2008 to 2013. Previously, she was associated with the University of Illinois and the University of Houston.