Kannur: The syndicate of the Kannur University has approved the appointment of Dr Priya Varghese as the Associate Professor in the Department of Malayalam.
She is the wife of K K Ragesh, CPM leader and Private Secretary to the Chief Minister.
The rank list for appointing an Associate Professor to the Department of Malayalam was approved by the syndicate meeting chaired by Vice-Chancellor Prof Gopinath Ravindran on Monday.
Varghese has topped the rank list for the lone post of Associate Professor. Earlier, teachers' associations owing allegiance to Opposition parties had alleged that she was not eligible for the post, which led to a controversy.
Following the controversy, the Vice-Chancellor sought legal opinion, including that of the Advocate General. Though the interview for the post was completed on November 18, 2021, the appointment was delayed since the varsity waited for the Advocate General's advice.
With the syndicate approving the appointment, the university would now send Varghese an appointment order.
After teachers' associations had opposed the appointment earlier, the Vice-Chancellor initially sought legal opinion from the university's standing council before approaching the Advocate General.
The short-list for the appointment of Associate Professor had six names, including that of Varghese. Prof Joseph Skariah of SB College in Changanassery was second in the list.
The move to appoint Varghese became a controversy after the Save University Campaign Committee questioned the varsity considering Faculty Improvement Programme (FIP) duration as part of the required teaching experience. The controversy gathered further steam following the re-appointment of Prof Ravindran as the Vice-Chancellor.
Countering the Save University Campaign Committee's argument, the university pointed out that several teachers had been appointed as Associate Professors after the FIP period was considered as part of their teaching experience.
The varsity argued that the University Grants Commission guidelines had not clarified that FIP could be considered while making appointments to teaching posts.
Varghese, who started her teaching career as a teacher in Kerala Varma College, Thrissur, currently has been on deputation to the Bhasha Institute as its Assistant Director.