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Uni academic terminated

Uni academic terminated

2013 May 22

by Aisha Nazim



A lecturer of the Sri Jayewardenepura University had been terminated from service for political reasons while the university administration counter-claimed that the academic was terminated as he had not completed his postgraduate studies.



Speaking to Ceylon Today, the Federation of University Teachers' Association (FUTA) said, Anuruddha Pradeep's termination was a result of him not completing his postgraduate studies within the given eight-year time frame.



FUTA President, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri, said this was the first time a lecturer had been terminated for not having completed his postgraduate studies. "The procedure is to place lecturers on a probationary period until their postgraduate studies are completed. In Pradeep's case, he had submitted his thesis before the eight-year deadline was over," Dr. Devasiri said.



"Pradeep's deadline was 8 March. He submitted his thesis on 1 March. Technically he was well within his deadline. However, in the memo submitted by the university administration to the University Council, they have manipulated the dates and said that Pradeep's thesis was submitted on 20 March, which is not true. He should have been put on probation, and reinstated upon completion of the thesis. That's the usual practice," he further said.



However, the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC), Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama, said, academics should obtain their postgraduate degrees before the eight-year period, and not submit it just before the deadline.



"Submission is not enough; you have to obtain the degree. The regulation for academics is that they must obtain a postgraduate qualification, while completing eight years. This is to maintain our high standards.



However, there is no regulation to say that they have to be taken in on a temporary basis until they finally complete their studies. The decision of keeping a lecturer on probation or terminating their employment is the university's decision," Prof. Hirimburegama said.



Meanwhile, the Registrar of the Jayewardenepura University, Jayalath Mutthetuwegedara, speaking to Ceylon Today, said that Pradeep had not been terminated as yet. He said Pradeep had been put on probation and the final decision would be made by the administration soon.



When Ceylon Today contacted the Academic Establishment Branch to clarify if Anuruddha Pradeep was indeed terminated or not, none of the officials were available for comment.

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