Meritocratic and Sagacious Leadership

Meritocratic and Sagacious Leadership
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It goes without saying that good, astute leadership determines how well a given institution—social, political, economic, academic and so on- functions and how effective and efficient it is. If the quality and efficacy of leadership is employed as a yardstick to assess the functioning of Kashmir University-the region’s premier institute of learning- the results unfortunately turn out to be rather pedestrian or even abysmal. This leadership lacuna impacts and impinges negatively on the University and thereby its core constituents and centre of gravity, its students. The student fraternity of Kashmir university are short changed at the most critical juncture of their lives. There are spillover effects of this insalubrious development: it is not only students who suffer but society as a whole pays the price in multiple ways. Change at and in Kashmir University then is an imperative but it can only emanate from top down. That is, deft, astute, prudent and sagacious leadership can bring about the necessary and requisite changes to make this premier institute into a robust knowledge and research centre, at par with the best. It then becomes incumbent upon powers that be to seek excellence in terms of leadership of the University. While it is not clear what methodology and premises are employed to select a Vice Chancellor for Kashmir University, however, what should be the animating and guiding principle for this selection is merit. A proven track record in University administration, some degree of global or international experience , a vigorous academic record complemented by some expertise in institution building and organizational development(OD) should constitute the complementary skill set of contenders for the position of Vice Chancellorship of Kashmir University. In effect, there should be diverse skill sets that the VC candidate must possess. Above all, beyond and besides these technical skills, the contender must have conceptual clarity regarding his or her role and possess great leadership skills. Kashmir University is, to employ the jargon of economics or physics, is at an “ inflection point”. This point must be grasped and the institution be turned around, so to speak. The challenge is humungous and the task cut out for whosoever becomes the Vice Chancellor of the said institution. So, selecting the best and the right candidate is critical, at this point in time. The operating premise of the selection committee must neither be ethnicity nor connections but pure and sheer meritocracy.