A mandatory seven-point evaluation scheme when selecting a suitable candidate to be appointed as a director of an institute or center for higher learning established under the Universities Act has been introduced by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The seven-point evaluation scheme or marking scheme includes 20 percent for the ability to think strategically and steer the institution in line with institutional goals and national needs (strategic focus), 20 percent for the proven capability of leading an institution in an exemplary manner (effective leadership), 10 percent for the ability to see the “big picture” from global and national perspectives with an integrated approach (holistic thinking/conceptual skills) and 15 percent for a proven track record in academic and research matters (academic and research excellence).
Ten percent is allocated for an unblemished career with transparency in all dealings (personal integrity), 10 percent for the ability to communicate with clarity and confidence (professional communication), and 15 percent for the proven track record of consistent high performance in administration (managerial competence). A circular in this regard had been issued by UGC Chairman Sampath Amaratunge to all vice-chancellors of universities, rectors of campuses, and directors of institutes. Boards of management were requested to use the mark sheet to assess candidates with a number of criteria given to select the suitable person for the position.
Among the attributes to be considered were evidence provided on the recognition by the people at large, evidence for sound financial administration, evidence for persuasive speaking in public front, evidence of working in both public and private sectors, and evidence for a broader understanding of socio-economic and religious-cultural forces and their possible current and future impact on the institutions. The applicant would also need to submit a statement of vision for the development of the institute, and a brief account of what he/she proposes to achieve if appointed to the post of director. The circular clearly stated that the applicant should be less than 63 years old. (NF)