Amid conflict with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta Board of Governors (BoG), Anju Seth, the first woman director of the institute stepped down from the post nearly a year before her term ends.
According to The Indian Express, Seth's resignation came two days after she went on sick leave, leaving Dean (New Initiatives and External Relations) Prashant Mishra in charge as acting director. Her term was set to end in February 2022.
The development was noteworthy as it surfaced amid an unprecedented standoff between the director and the institution's Board. Seth had accused Chairman Shrikrishna Kulkarni of infringing on her executive powers.
In contrast, the Board accused her of inappropriate conduct.
The clash escalated into a full-fledged crisis last month after the Board passed a resolution against Seth, denying her of her authority to make appointments and take disciplinary action.
The BoG began an early search for her successor in the first week of March, placing advertisements for a new director, potentially adding to Seth's pressure.
As per the IIM Act, an institute's Board should nominate a new director nine months before the position becomes vacant.
In a letter to the Ministry of Education in December, over 75 per cent of the IIM-Calcutta faculty claimed that Seth had consolidated authority and overtaken their administrative and decision-making roles.
In January, Seth denied the charges as the work of "a small group of people", disappointed with her attempts to cultivate a culture of openness and transparency in an email to The Indian Express.
In November 2018, Seth became the first female director of IIM- Calcutta. She is an alumnus of IIM-Calcutta, and she holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan (1988). She had previously worked at the University of Illinois and the University of Houston.