'logo' ki baat hai IIMA faculty, students kuchh toh bolenge – Ahmedabad Mirror

The iconic Louis Kahn Plaza and the red-brick campus at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) has witnessed protests in the past from proactive faculty members and students against the government for their rights and injustice to civil society. Remarkably, this was the first time in the history of the six-decade-old IIMA that its faculty members, staff and academic associates – some 36 of them – expressed dissent by conducting silent protests and prayed for ‘wisdom’ to be granted to the higher authorities.
The protesting members wore ‘Restore IIMA Logo’ badges around their neck and took to Louis Kahn Plaza to hold ‘Meditation for Wisdom’ or ‘Sadbuddhi Dhyan’ to mark a silent protest against IIMA Director and the Board of Governors (BoG).
The dissent against the IIMA authorities for their unilateral approach in launching a ‘refreshed’ logo and website is so fierce that one of the senior faculty members, Dean of Alumni and External Relations, Saral Mukhrejee, tendered his resignation from the post a few days ago and the IIMA is believed to have accepted it on Monday. Mukherjee is believed to have told colleagues that despite being a dean, he was excluded from taking part in the crucial decision of changing the logo and website.
For starters, IIMA recently announced that its BoG had approved a new logo to make it more appealing globally, and changed the website also. IIMA BoG also approved the plan to reconstruct a few buildings, including part of LKP designed by well-known American architect Louis Kahn.
Some of the senior faculty members in fray to be the next IIMA director also did not hesitate to protest against IIMA authorities. A member who participated in the Sadbuddhi Dhyan told Mirror that they are angry over their exclusion in decision-making, and changing the logo and the website that now has a lot of glitches.
“In April, IIMA BoG Chairman told everyone that the decision has been kept in abeyance and the director will consult people before making a decision. There was no consultation with faculty members. Just an hour before the decision was shared with the media in a press briefing, we got an email from the BoG informing us about the decision to change the logo,” said an angry member at IIMA.
“While we understand that the IIM Act now gives more power to the Director and the Board, IIMA is a place where people across the world come to seek valuable suggestions, and faculty members are on steering bodies that run this country. They now have no say in important strategic decisions of the institute where they have worked for decades,” said another member.
At the protest on Monday, people formerly associated with IIMA also joined in. It is learnt that ex-directors and ex-faculty members have also reached out to the Director and BoG raising strong objections over change of logo and the administration’s arbitrary ways of working.
Neither IIMA nor Prof Saral Mukherjee responded to Mirror’s email confirming his resignation from the post, but sources have confirmed his exit. He is also believed to have shared an elaborate communication with colleagues confirming the development and thanking colleagues for their support.
Changes made to adapt to digitised world: IIMA
When contacted, IIMA spokesperson said, “IIM Ahmedabad takes pride in the contributions of its faculty members in upholding high standards of excellence in imparting education, conducting research, and contributing to effective policy-making. IIMA is known for following a model of faculty governance and the BoG continues to acknowledge and value the contributions of the Institute’s faculty members. It holds the highest regard for the inputs and feedback received from them at various points in time.
As IIMA’s growth and ethos shape and adapt to global shifts, it realised the need to redesign its website to suit the requirements of the increasingly digitised world. It was also decided during this process to revisit and revise its visual identity, which is represented by the IIMA logo. As a process, a task force was formed to work on these initiatives. The task force conducted extensive research and considered the feedback it received from key stakeholders before making its recommendations to the board.
The proposal on the logo refresh was shared in the first in-person meeting conducted after the pandemic ended. After the initial feedback, a survey was conducted to invite feedback from all the faculty members. In addition, in this survey, the faculty were also invited to share qualitative feedback to give their open-ended views as exhaustively as they wanted to. The redesigned website was shared with the faculty and their feedback was sought. Thereafter the Board was informed of the feedback on the website and along with this considered the extensive qualitative feedback received earlier on the logo. After considering the feedback received and spending time taking into account the diverse views coming in from key stakeholders and keeping in mind the future of the institute, the board finalised its decision to introduce the redesigned website and refreshed logo.” 
Ahmedabad Mirror is an award-winning city newspaper from Shayona Times Pvt. Ltd. which covers news, views, sports, entertainment and features. A hyper local daily that is global in its approach.
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