Dear Friends and Colleagues,
It is never easy to say good bye, especially to faculty, staff, and students who have been so dear to my heart and mind for over two years. But the time has come for me to bid farewell. At the end of this month, I will be leaving SRM University, primarily to spend more time with my family and take care of my health that has become a source of some concern to my family and me.
My tenure at SRM University was indeed a wonderful opportunity to lead a premier institution in India to greater heights of glory and reputation. In many, many ways this institution seemed to have had the distinct advantage of having an enlightened management and a team of senior administrators willing to experiment with new ideas. I realized from day one that realizing the dream of building a world-class university will be a long-term affair involving significant culture change and will require huge investments in faculty, staff, and infrastructure for a sustained period of time. Yes, we did make some progress with unstinted dedication and cooperation of faculty and staff in various disciplines. Our students excelled in many areas including global and national technical competitions, sports and extra-curricular activities. However, we also realize that much more remains to be done and I have no doubt with steadfast determination for achieving excellence this will be possible in the coming years.
In the relatively short time that I have been here, there is something I have always admired about this great institution—the resilience of the SRM spirit. Whether it had to do with natural calamities like the floods of 2015, “Cyclone Vardah” of 2016 or other challenges that we had to face, the SRM Family showed the unique determination to stay together and weather them all and wonderfully so. Students, faculty and staff, directors, deans, and administrators demonstrated a spirit of togetherness and service before self-philosophy to make sure that we stay on top.
This is not the time to list all that I have done in the last few years except that I could not have done much without the unwavering cooperation of faculty, staff, students, and management. Yes, there may have been some heady debates and arguments but the bottom line had always been very clear—to make significant improvement in teaching and research, streamlining systems and processes, bringing about a gradual change in culture including involving faculty in decision-making process, competing in a tough national and global environment, and above all, attempting to make the university more student-friendly, and a better place to live, work and grow. I have no illusion that much more remains to be done on all these areas in order to become a truly world-class university.
Life is a journey. We move from one destination to another but with the conviction that at the end of the day it will be better and something we will remember and cherish. I am headed back to the United States where I have lived the most part of my life, but my heart will be with SRM University and the friends that I have come to be associated with in my tenure as the Vice Chancellor. The best part of leaving a place is the conviction that it will always be a part of you. Stay in touch and I wish all of you the very best of health and prosperity.
Good Bye and God Bless You All!