Here is a digest :
1. Never put IQAC team, Criteria Heads and Single Points of Contacts on the fragile crutches. Instead, empower them by mentoring meaningfully by richly evolved mentoring notes and then walk the talk. Be a close walking companion in their journey rather than one standing on a high pedestal, ‘sermonising’ 🙂
2. As a mentor urge IQAC team to write a draft response to every qualitative metric, develop an impact report, a brochure of a course, a course file, an assessment plan, a sessional plan for every topic, and assist every course-faculty in developing content on LMS leveraging Multi-media tools.
3. One way to develop competency in writing research papers is to literally push ourselves to write more. In HEIs, a very large number of teachers belong to a generation cohort of X Gen and Millennial, quite detached from writing. It is not their fault that they run away from writing. Yes, once they have entered into academics, they would be expected to write on anything and almost everything. It doesn’t matter, even if it is not elite every time. Be joyous, if someone asks you to mentor a group of students in writing a project or a peer seeking help in writing a research proposal. Be happy if Dir IQAC asks you to write a quality ‘course brochure’ or a ‘report’ of a just concluded event on the social media. Love it, if you are assigned a responsibility of writing an annual report of university along with VC’s convocation address. Accept it, if someone asks you to write Students’ Brochure or Students’ Diary or a Research Annual Report. All of these make you research, think n’ learn on multiple academic issues and create a traction within for doing more intellectual stuff. Once you write a good document, you start admiring your writing and taking a pride in your skill, build a niche for yourself and to your million dollar self esteem. You look accomplished !
4. During years of mentoring to HEIs, I always found that writing a content by myself in one shot for a Report was far more easier than heavy editing someone’s content. But I preferred to suffer than to make people feel low that they can’t write. It is OK, if I need to edit and invest my valued time. I did this in a number of universities and I hope, I ignited some hopes in people that “they can !”
5. Should you mentor a HEI, never look stupid sitting in a corner and preparing documents. Instead, debate in the IQAC team what would make that document worth thousand eyes. Discuss every nuance critically and holistically, macro to micro and analyse threadbare. Generate debate on what the world thinks about the issue under discussion and its multiple dimensions, perspectives and related reflections. Resonate environment with your deep sense of thought, and width on any matter within the realm of your expertise on an issue. Make it a truly profound experience for the listeners so that they can pen down their views by adding further more value to it. Yes, they must pen down !
6. I don’t insist who should sit during my mentoring but I want to know from the HEIs who would be my audience. As a mentor, it is critical to my job. A mentor should deliver his/her wisdom based on what people ‘need’ and NOT what a mentor ‘knows’. It is to my experience that far over 50% of VCs of various universities had preferred to sit in a full 5-day session barring a few hours here and there, they needed to discharge their functions. It is not to take a pride in any Chief Executive sitting in seminar, but it matters hugely, because the very physical presence of a decision-maker enables a mentor to successfully push through an agenda of capacity-building that would ultimately benefit the institute.
-Prof JR Sharma