“Controversies are a necessary stimulation and help a person in not being complacent” was the farewell message by St Stephen’s principal Valson Thampu whose tenure was marred with controversies.The farewell activities lined up for Thampu also had their share of controversies with a section of teachers and staff members boycotting his celebrations of “festival of retirement”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Controversies are necessary stimulation for any person. Manufactures of those dramas did not know they were doing me a favour and helping me in not being complacent. Everything I did was by design and nothing was an accident,” Thampu said in his farewell address.”When I took over the post of the principal I knew the cost I was going to pay and I was warned against it by my well wishers but I give credit to all those who created controversies around the college as they only motivated me and brought out the best in my administration,” he added.Thampu, who studied at St Stephen’s and later served the college as a lecturer and officiating principal, took over as the college principal in 2008. His tenure as the 12th principal of the prestigious college ended today and his successor John Varghese will take charge of the post on Tuesday.Meanwhile, the group of teachers who made repetitive demands for his removal in wake of the controversies, boycotted the farewell terming his tenure to be the “darkest period” in college’s history.”The college has been battered and bruised during his tenure but institutions are greater than individuals. The past seven years were darkest years in history of Stephen’s,” a senior professor of the college and former member of the Governing Body said.DUTA President Nandita Narain who has always been at loggerheads with Thampu said, “he has always been making derogatory remarks against teachers hence we all decided to give his farewell a miss”.Another farewell meeting was held on Monday in the college preceded by Farewell Chapel Service. The celebrations ended with an “Adieu Walk”.The principal designate also addressed the students and adviced them to run away from “temptation of popularity” and keep working irrespective of any controversies.Allegations of forced conversion of an administrative officer to Christianity, fake degree used for his appointment, banning of e-zine for not seeking permission on content, shielding a professor accused of sexual harassment of a research scholar and proposing amendments to the college’s 102-year-old constitution marked Thampu’s stint at St Stephen’s helm.
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