Conference 2022-Chennai

The Summary Report of

The IUS south Asia continental conference and workshop

of for the Rectors, Principals and Directors of the Salesian Higher Education institutions

Citadel, Chennai 28th November – 2nd December 2022.


The IUS South Asia continental conference and workshop for Rectors, Principals, and Directors of Salesian Higher Education Institutions was held from November 28th to December 2nd, 2022 at Citadel, Chennai. The five-day event’s theme was Salesian Leadership in Higher Education Ministry.

Fr. Januarius Sangma SDB, the Provincial in charge of the DBHEI, presided over the conference’s inaugural Holy Mass. Fr Januarius prayed for the conference’s effectiveness and encouraged participants to be Don Bosco-style educators. The participants specifically prayed for Rev. Fr Thaddeus SDB, the secretary of DBHEI, who was unable to attend due to illness.

Rev. Fr Januarius S Sangma SDB, Provincial of ING, Rev. Fr K M Jose SDB, Provincial of INM, Fr Michal Vojtas SDB, Professor, UPS Rome, and Dr. Sundar C Raman, an alumnus of DB School Egmore, presided over the official inauguration of the conference at 9.00 a.m. In his speech, Dr. Raman recalled the personal attention of love and value-based education he received at Don Bosco and urged the participants to be such educators, imbuing the students’ values of ethics and compassion. Fr Maria Anthony Raj SDB, Principal, Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur, presented the dynamics of the five-day workshop before the beginning of the first session.

Fr Joe Arun SJ, Director LIBA, spoke on “Higher Education in the Global Context” in the conference’s first session. Fr Joe encouraged everyone to have a change of heart and a more global perspective in order to offer our services internationally. The higher education delegate from each province presented initiatives and best practices in each province during the first day’s post-noon session.

Rev. Fr Oscar Lozano SDB, IUS General Coordinator from Rome, addressed the day’s final session online. He emphasized the Salesian world of higher education’s policies, common programs, and pastoral reflections. The first day concluded with evening prayer and dinner.

Rev. Fr K M Jose SDB, the provincial of INM, presided over the Holy Eucharist on the second day in the morning. He challenged the Salesians to be personification of love to the youngsters. Fr. John Alexander SDB, Rector of Sacred Heart College, Tirupattur, delivered the conference’s fourth session. His presentation focused on the Church’s Identity and Mission in Higher Education Institutions. In the following morning session, Dr Michal Vojtas SDB, professor UPS, spoke on the Preventive System in Salesian Higher Education. His talk was renamed Criteria for Salesian Higher Education to avoid the negative connotation of the word preventive.

Fr Joe Andrew SDB, Rector Beatitudes, Vyasarpadi, spoke about Campus Ministry at the IUS in the afternoon session. Following the session, participants shared their campus ministry experiences from various provinces. Special awards were presented to selected faculty and students during the day’s final session. Fr Joy Ullattil SDB, Principal of DB College Mannuthy, presided over the session. Three of the top awards were given to student teams for their innovative ideas from a pool of more than 100 entries, and three faculty members were also recognized for their innovative pedagogical methods. An external jury evaluated both entries. The participants visited Don Bosco School Egmore in the evening of the second day and interacted with the SDBs there. After a sumptuous dinner at Don Bosco Egmore, Salesians played a friendly futsal match among them and returned home.

Rev. Fr Michal Vojtas SDB presided over the holy mass on the third day and later presented the first session of the day, titled “Salesian Leadership and Project Management: General Framework for Higher Education Institutions”. Dr. T. Armugam, VC Thiruvallur University, spoke on the Core Functions and Activities of Higher Education Institutions: Manage or Excel? Dr. Arumugam challenged Salesian educators to excel in education and administration rather than simply managing them. In the following session, Fr Edwin George SDB, Rector of DB College, Dharmapuri, highlighted the “Academic Community’s Role as the Subject of the Salesian Mission at IUS”. The group discussion at the end of the presentation summarized the key points of the presented topic.

Rev. Oscar Lozano SDB from Rome addressed the final session of the third day online. The theme of the session was University Today: Validity, Challenges, and Perspectives – An Educational Pastoral Perspective.

Fr. K O Sebastian SDB, Principal of Don Bosco College Maram, presided over the inaugural mass on December 1, 2022. Fr Francis P Xavier SJ, Rector of Loyola College, Chennai, animated us on the Human Resources and Administrative Financial Management.             Fr Francis emphasized the importance of having a well-defined organizational structure with coordination and leadership during his session. At our HEI, he proposed a synodal approach that balanced the three pillars of Human Resources, Financial Management, and Administrative Management.

Prof. Samuel Johnson K, Centre for Teaching and Learning VIT- AP University, led the second session of the day, which focused on “Digital Transformation in HEI: Need, Strategies, and Tools”. At Zero budgeting, the session focused on making technology affordable. The delegates spent the afternoon at Loyola College in Chennai. The college’s management and staff were on hand to greet us and show us around the campus. Visits to the main campus, the engineering college, and the Institute of Business Administration took up the majority of the time (LIBA). After watching a video about LIBA, the participants interacted with the college administration. The group then went to Santhome Cathedral Church. and then to St. Bede’s Anglo-Indian HS for dinner.

Fr. Robert Simon SDB, Vice President DBYA-SA, celebrated the Holy Eucharist to start the conference’s final day. Fr. Simon urged the attendees to make all of our institutions a place where youth are welcomed and transformed accordance to the spirit of DB. Instead of Dr. BS Ponmudiraj, Advisor NAAC, who was busy with an official visit, Dr. Xavier Mahimairaj, IQAC Coordinator at Loyola College, Chennai, took the first session on the final day. Dr. Xavier elaborated on the frameworks for evaluating and accrediting institutions of higher education both as they exist today and as they are proposed to be in the future.

Dr. Henry Rosario, Director of Exodus Consulting, discussed the Institutional Development Plan (IDP) in his subsequent presentation. Dr. Henry outlined the requirements specific to the Salesians Higher Education ministry in his presentation on IDP, which he structured in accordance with those of the national regulatory bodies.

Fr. Robert Simon SDB presided over the conference’s final session, which covered the conference’s future in light of the IUS Policy directives communicated at the General Assembly in Rome in 2022. The instructions were divided into four categories: Policy Implementation, Campus Ministry, Options for the Underprivileged, and increased networking and cooperation between the institutes. Each participant focused on a different one of the four themes as they were discussed. In light of the conference, the groups also discussed general directions for DBHEI institutes going forward.

Following that, as per the agenda, a general body meeting was held, presided over by Fr. Robert Simon, vice president of DBYA. The assembly heard the report from the previous general body meeting in 2021 and approved it. Plans of action for the future were put forth and discussed.

The election of the executive members came next. The positions were up for election because Fr. Wilfred Fernandez SDB, INP, and Fr. Joy Ullatil SDB, INK, were nearing the end of their second terms as executive members. Despite the fact that Fr. Thaddeus had only served his first term as secretary, the assembly decided that he could be removed from the position because of his poor health. The outgoing executive members were replaced by Fr. Joby Joseph SDB (INS), Fr. Johnson Ponthempilly SDB (INK), and Fr. Joaquim Lobo SDB (INP) as the new executive members. Fr. Joby Joseph SDB (INS), secretary; Fr. K. O. Sebastian SDB (IND), treasurer; Fr. Beevan Mukhim SDB (ING), Fr. Joaquim Lobo SDB (INP), and Fr. Johnson Ponthempilly SDB (INK), were elected as the members of the new executive team.

Fr. Robert expressed his gratitude to Fr. Thaddeus for bringing DBHEI to higher levels of performance and recognition, and he thanked and congratulated the departing executive members for their years of loyal service. He also prayed for Fr. Thaddeus’ quick recovery. The group thanked and praised Fr Maria Antony Raj SDB, Principal of Sacred Heart College in Tirupattur, for successfully organizing and leading the five-day conference in Fr Thaddeus SDB’s absence. Fr. Robert Simon SDB, Vice President, expressed gratitude to the planning team on behalf of the conference. Mr. Valan P, Assistant Professor at Don Bosco College, Yelagiri, was responsible for setting up and managing the event. The gathering also expressed gratitude to the Citadel Community for all of its assistance in organizing and managing the meeting. At 5:30 PM, the meeting came to a close with a hymn to Don Bosco.


Prepared by

Rev. Joby Joseph SDB Ph.D.

Rector, St Anthony’s College, Shillong