Dr. Dwarika Prasad Uniyal is the DEAN-Faculty Business at FLAME University. He is a visionary leader who comes up with ideas of eradicating the orthodox chains of rote-learning and creating a space of practical learning. He believes that we can learn from numerous sources around us, but it is more important to implement rather than just study. Read here what he has to say in his interview.
Being the DEAN of FLAME University, what is your philosophy of leadership? How would you describe your leadership role?
“A Dean is responsible for carrying out multiple tasks”
Being the Dean is a very responsible position. Not only for the students, but a dean is also responsible for well being, care and careers for the faculty members and is equally accountable to the staff.
Academic institutions are unique because everybody has a role to play. So as a Dean, I have to play the role of a mentor, an advisor and guide my younger academic colleagues towards crafting their academic career. It is unique also as there is no ready template for it. When I started my academic life 20 years ago nobody told me this is how you can shape your life. No one told me how would you become Dean of an institution. Nobody taught me how to run institutions. I learned on the way, and I'm lucky because I got enough opportunities.
Any suggestions that you would like to give to the current students or the aspiring students?
“Be a good follower to become a good leader later”
As a leader and as a teacher it is our responsibility to guide you through adversities. The first thing you need to do is to inculcate a belief system that you are good enough. Don't seek validation from the outside world. Believe in the fact that you have something interesting in life, and you don't owe anything to anyone, including your parents and teachers. At the same time, work hard and develop a consistent work ethic. In life your attitude towards work and life will take you far.
What is your take on the education industry? What do you think makes it the best industry to work and where is it heading?
“It is essential to keep moving forward following the latest trends”
Failure is seen as a badge that at least you tried and did something. You didn't waste your time sitting ideally. You were doing something, and I believe the education industry has to move in the direction to go beyond classroom teaching. Of course, I'm not denying that the classroom is not essential. It would be best if you learned but then find context to apply that learning. Every day you learn something new.
What is essential - is to be relevant. That's the most significant threat for education: to become ignorant, and that's happening. Learn a new language, understand the geographical culture, Food business, dimensions of it, and acquire more learning.
What do you think should be the FLAME University's top priority over the next five years?
“I think the priority is to consolidate the liberal education space”
We are looking at almost 10 programs to inculcate in our curriculum. We are branded as merely Humanities, social sciences, and management, but we're in the right direction to incorporate design, and STEM subjects. We'll have a unique combination of computer science, mathematics, psychology design, UX, UI.
Secondly, I want to entirely modify the undergrad BBA program and make it a little bit more quantitative and job Centric. So, I want to take it up as more skill-oriented. How do you imagine this MBA program to be in an immersive program rather than a classroom centric? I want to create a learning model wherein there is a theory-immersion along with practical learning to acquire the job. It provides a lot more engagement with the larger world.
I'm going to create four business verticals. I will have data analytics and data science in 1 vertical. Value investing as one vertical, I will have marketing science and marketing analytics, and digital has one vertical. I love Consulting, I also want to focus a lot more on on-campus entrepreneurship. The idea is to balance knowing, doing and being component of a students life.
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How do you strategize about the Key Programs and plans for the marketing and administration of your Institute. How do you cater to all the mounting activities? And how do you plan to put FLAME in a bigger picture?
“I want to create a global learning space for the students”
I guess we have two different Market audiences in the digital space. Of course, one is College portals, and we would like to be more active and more content-driven. For example, we would like to speak to a lot or the larger space of the audience. Industry-specific forums, we would like to create a Consortium of liberal arts colleges. I want to create a specific focus on the Northeast and students from tribal belts to study at my institution. I want to create FLAME University and Pune as a hub for a lot of international students. I want to have students from across the globe. I also want to make the FLAME Valley as a new Entrepreneurial Hub in India and work closely with our industrial, financial and social sectors.