February 12, 2009
VC’s Office, Coimbatore
A few months ago, Wall Street Journal’s livemint.com had carried a feature article on the Amrita School of Business (ASB) at Coimbatore. “Located at the foothills of an elephant-shaped hillock, it is India’s most picturesque campus,” wrote the correspondent. “Most of the faculty members are highly qualified with degrees from IITs, IIMs, and reputed foreign universities. They also have an impressive list of publications in reputed national and international journals.”
Dr. Florence Rodhain, Associate Professor at University Montpellier 2 in Southern France is currently spending her sabbatical at ASB. The visiting professor together with two ASB faculty members, was in Pondicherry recently to attend the 2nd International Conference on Integrating Spirituality and Organizational Leadership. The team presented two papers — What is Mindful Leadership? (S. Jagannathan and Florence Rodhain) and Self-Awareness and Personal Growth: A Core Training for New Leaders (Florence Rodhain and C.S. Udhayakumar).
The first accredited course in Meditation was taught at the University of California at Berkeley in 1968. When the Amrita School of Business began in 1996 (known then as the Amrita Institute of Management), a course in Self Awareness and Personal Growth (SAPG) was also introduced. For the two years that the students spend in the MBA program, they go through an hour of yoga and meditation every day in the morning before breakfast. SAPG remains one of the highlights of the program; over the years it has become extremely popular with students.
Dr. Florence first visited ASB in 2007. When she returned to France, she introduced SAPG for students in University Montpellier 2. The response to these classes was tremendous. Dr. Florence, who has a PhD degree in MIS and has published about 60 papers in scientific journals, books and conferences, shared her experiences with her colleagues in France. Dr. Florence has taught at the University of San Francisco, Florida State University, Shanghai University, Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand; nevertheless this was a special experience.
Next week, a high level delegation from University Montpelier 2 will visit Amrita. Dr. Jerome Galy, Vice Chancellor of International Relations, Dr. Angelique Rodhain, Dean of the Undergraduate Marketing Program and Dr. Bernard Fallery, Director of the MIS Research Center, will join Dr. Florence in a tour of several of the Amrita campuses. The focus will be on international collaborations for research, student and faculty exchange. Starting next academic year, Amrita will offer MBA at four of its campuses including Amritapuri, Bangalore and Kochi.