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Save American College, Madurai

This post was written in 2008 and outdated now. For update, please check Save American College, Madurai (Update 2011)

Update (2011-01-16): Save American College, Madurai (Update 2011)

I'm highly privileged to have 3 degrees (B.Sc. (Spl. Physics), PGDCA and MCA) from The American College, Madurai, South India. Unlike other "commercial" colleges, American College has given room for poor students and uplifted them. And unlike other "elite" colleges who'd give seat only for "intellectuals", American College has produced geniuses.

In the recent months, the saddening thing is that the college is under divide (Principal Vs. Bishop). Here is the email I sent to alumnae lately informing about the informations that I received about the developments:

Update (2011-01-16): Save American College, Madurai (Update 2011)


I was thinking that the "Save American College" campaign was a FUD. But, when I tried to understand the problem through my friends, it's a great shock that the college has lost it's greatness--and it seems that the name would deteriorate further. Semester exam is coming in next month--but, still many students are not attending the classes and the revised curriculum wasn't yet approved by board of council.

So, what's the real problem? (Note: my version may also be wrong)

  • Principal (Chinnaraj Joseph) and Bishop (Christopher Asir) were close for sometime

  • There were a power/ego clash started between the two after sometime in decision making (For example, Bishop appointed Prof. Christopher of Mathematics department--who was said to be junior and nephew of Bishop--as a Bursar)

  • Then there comes open allegations between the two

  • Staffs and students had to align with one party

  • Bishop has dismissed Principal (the legality is a question and now on court)

  • Principal party

    • Comprises mostly of 1. Self-financing staffs, 2. Non-teaching staffs, 3. Few of Government staffs. All are boycotting classes for last 2 months.

    • They don't want the Bishop's role in college

    • Headed by Prof. Solomon Pappiah, Prof. Sam George, etc

  • Bishop party

    • Comprises mostly of dioceses people, Government staffs and few self-financing staffs and non-teaching staffs. There is also some feeling that those who don't want to take the risk of their job are this side.

    • They're now controlling the college--taking classes, etc.

    • They're now targeting Self-financing staffs and non-teaching staffs and trying to replace them as they're boycotting the classes.

Who has more power?

It is said that Bishop party has more power and may win the legal case as they have more diocese money. For example, the lady judge has avoided to take the case so far, by going on leave.

Who has more morals?

(According to my sources) Principal. It is also better that Principal party wins the case so that the non-teaching staffs and self-financing staff jobs are not at stake. But, they seems to lack funds and other support.

What you/we may do?

If you think that Principal party has to win legally, you may send funds to Prof. Sam George (retired Zoology Professor and also a popular Indian blogger now) and may also lend supports in other ways.

R. Rajesh Jeba Anbiah
95PHY15, 98DCA21 & 99MCA30

Update (2011-01-16): Save American College, Madurai (Update 2011)


jas said…
Human beings tend to glorify the past and find fault with the present. Few years back in 2002 when I joined as an undergraduate student, I felt immense pleasure by being a student of this prestigious institution. I can never deny the education, values and good cultures that I received from this College. Even in my career, my Alma Mater speaks a lot on my behalf. There are people I found who always find fault with the system, but they seldom realise the fault is within. There would have been cold war among the staffs in the yester years, but that was not brought so low to the level of students.
There used to be snakes in and around the hostels. Few of the inmates wanted to do away with the snakes, so they approached our (erstwhile) Principal. It was he who made this famous quip, that the snakes had been in this College for a long time; it does not even hurt them, and why should students want to do away with it.
This College has been there as a lighthouse since 1881. There may be problems(snakes) that breed as time moves on. Those problems should not hinder the learning and career prospects of students. The College (lighthouse) should shed light on the students, as it should provide room for positive learning. In no way, the present rift (snakes) should be an obstacle to the students. In addition, students should not be allowed to lend hands to support any of the factions. It may be two of three years of learning for them. If they are constantly exposed to partisan, what will the students learn in the due course of their tenure? Nothing but the values that are condemned by the society.

Thanks for your opinions and kindly leave your name, if possible
Jasper said…
I am Jasper

Thanks for letting me know your name. I think, I know you (?). Are you the guy from Kodai international?
well wisher.. said…
Hello.. rajesh..
Do your work..
we save the american college.
otherwise come to madurai and solve the problem between them..

well wisher of the american college.
Anonymous said…
Second year has come to problem or not please tell me...?

If you're in Madurai, you may know the situation better than me:-) As far as I know, the issue is still there; but the classes are resumed. I also believe, students are not affected now.
Anonymous said…
Dear Mr.Jeba,

I feel that you are yet to understand the issue properly. Yes, The Governing Council is the authority of the college and the council President is the Bishop. Dr.Chinnaraj is appointed by the Council to administer the college or execute the directions of the council. Once he occupied the position, he wanted Dr.Davamani to be the Bursar (then Warden)and only based on his demand Bursar was appointed. They all were working with cooperation for two years. I think the problem was mainly due to Mrs.Chinnaraj who was appointed in a Doicease institution as correspondent and its spill over effect has got reflected in The American College.

This hidden problem and lady pushed Dr.TCJ to manipulate the Council members to suit his favout and that became the crux of the issue.

I think Dr.TCJ has to understand his responsibility and learn to obey to the authorities. This culture needs to be passed on to his supporters both teaching and non-teaching.

Then alone the tradition college culture can be restored. No one can claim that he or she is the ultimate.

Thanks for your comments on Bishop party perspective. I have written an update. Kindly check that and let me know your feedback.

As far as I understand, none of the bishops have interfered like Christopher Asir and colleges like Lady Doak runs without Bishop in board?
Babu said…
Dear Mr.Rajesh,

I read your update too.

To know more about the recent developments in The American College, you may refer the following blog.
Anonymous said…
Dear Mr.Rajesh,

As an unbiased person and old student of the college, you may have your own view. As an alumni,I have a full freedom to express my opinion too. According to me there is no principal so for worked in the college and behaved so badly and ruined the college. After Dr.Samuel Sudhanandha left the college, there is not even a single development in the last 5 years either in the new campus or the old campus. You can see divisions among teaching and no-teaching staff, buildings are not maintained, curriculum development is so poor, students are tortured and threatened, no teaching commitment work ethics among teaching and non-teaching staff, denial of pension benefits to retiring staff, manipulation of marks, manipulation of management funds, collection of students fees by cash and maintaining illegal bank accounts,and so on. According to me, no principal has behaved badly like Dt.T.Chinnaraj Joseph, in the history of The American College, Madurai

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