The historical development for the Management Studies and Commerce was started in 1977. The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) Degree Programme was commenced in 1977 under the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Humanities. The University Grants Commission (UGC) approved the Department of Commerce on 31 July 1982, and it began functioning on 18 December 1983. Dr.Nithiananthan was appointed as the Head of the Department of Commerce, and the initial intake of students was 28. Mr.M. Nadarajasundaram, Mr.N. Thiruththavel, Mr.K. Thevarajah were the staff then.
Due to the 1977 massacres in the country, 14 undergraduates who were admitted to the Tamil medium management degree programme at the University of Sri Jeyawardanapura were transferred to the University of Jaffna. After a constructive Senate discussion on the awarding of degree whether to be Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Management or Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), it was finally decided to award those graduates with the degree of Bachelor of Business Administratio n (BBA).
The Department of Commerce and Management Studies was established on 1 January 1986, and Prof. S. Rajaratnam was appointed as the Head of this Department, and he relinquished his duties on 11 November 1990. Subsequently, Prof.V.P. Sivanathan held the office as Head for a short period. Prof. N. Balakrishnan assumed the office as the Head from 14 March, 1991 to 04 May 1993. Prof.M.Nadarajasundaram succeeded as the Head of the Department from 04 May 1993.
In the meantime, The Department of Commerce and Management Studies made another milestone in the year 1991 by starting BCom external degree programme. It was a massive success, with 316 students in the first batch.
On 1 September 1994, the department was divided into the Department of Commerce and the Department of Management Studies. Prof. M. Nadarajasundaram was the first Head of the Department of Management Studies from 1994 to 1999. Prof. K. Thevarajah was the Head of the Department of Commerce from 1994 to 2005. Mrs. Nithiyaluxmy Tharmaseelan served as the Department of Management Studies head from 1991 to 2001. Mrs T.Sivaskaran was appointed Head of the Department of Management Studies in 2001, and she held this position until 2008. During this period Dr. (Mrs) T. Nithiyaluxsmy Tharmaseelan again served as the Head of the Department for one year in 2006. Mr.K.K.Arulvel was appointed Head of the Department of Commerce in 2005, and it continued under his leadership until 2008.
The Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce (FMSC) of the University of Jaffna was established on 29 May 1999 as the 5th Faculty in the University of Jaffna to conduct BCom and BBA degree programmes. FMSC was the 6th Faculty among the Management Faculties of the State Universities in Sri Lanka. Accounting and Marketing specialisations were offered under the BCom degree programme. The BBA degree programme offered two specialisations: Financial
Management and Human Resource Management. These two-degree programmes were offered in both Tamil and English mediums. Prof. M. Nadarajasundaram was the founding Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce. The Faculty was under his leadership until the year 2005. Prof. K. Thevarajah was elected as second Dean and took over his duties from 2005 to 2011.
The Faculty was granted permission for restructuring from the University Grant Commission (UGC) in November 2008. Under this restructuring, Faculty was allowed to have a single degree programme, namely, Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and step down the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree programme. The two Departments were bifurcated into four Departments: the Department of Accounting, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, and Marketing. These four departments offered Bachelor of Business Administration degrees in the respective specialisation areas: Accounting, Financial Management, Human Resource Management and Marketing, respectively. The FMSC was functioning in the central premises of the University of Jaffna. The authorities decided to move the faculty to the new premises, and the land was purchased in Kalasalai Road, Thirunelvely in 2005.
The Students’ Union was formed in 1980 in the name of the Commerce Students Union. Afterwards, it was renamed as “Commerce and Management Students Union” in 1990 with the approval of the University Council held on 21 April 1990. Prof. S. Rajaratnam and Mr. B. Balachchandran were the union’s founding patron and senior treasurer, respectively. The students of the two separate departments (Department of Management Studies and Department of Commerce) wished to form their own independent student unions. This, in turn, gave rise to the formation of the Commerce Students Union and Management Students Union in 1995. Mr. K. Thevarajah and Mr. K. K Arulvel served as Patron and Senior Treasurer of the Commerce Students Union, respectively. Within the Management Students’ Union, Mr. M. Nadarajasundaram and Mr. D. Jeyaraman assumed the role of Patron and Senior Treasurer, respectively.
A greater emphasis was placed on developing students’ soft skills and creative mindsets through student union activities. In this context, union publications have been a significant achievement for them. “Virutcham” is the magazine’s name published by the Commerce Students Union. In 1982, the first edition of Virutcham was released while the Management Student Union launched its’ maiden edition in the name of “Management Focus” in 1995. Since 1999, the “Management and Commerce Student Union (MCSU)” has been representing Students of Management Studies and Commerce. As of now, there are two sub-unions under the MCSU umbrella: the Management Students Society and the Commerce Students Society.
In 1999, the Department of management studies established a mini-computer lab with the funding aid of JAICA.
Since 2000, MACOS week (Management and Commerce Students’ Cultural and Sports Week) has been celebrated by FMSC to encourage students to participate in cultural and sports activities. MACOS week entails a diverse range of activities such as debate, poem writing, essay writing, singing and dancing competitions in all three languages take place in MACOS week. Indoor and outdoor games as well as and athletics are also conducted for all batches in common. This lasts for a whole week and eventually culminates into a grand finale.
In 2004, FMSC launched the first journal: Journal of Business Studies (JBS), and the chief editor was Mrs. T Raveendran. Four volumes of JBS had been continuously published.
In the year 2010, the academic programs of the FMSC were restructured to enrich the management curricula and give a professional orientation to enhance the employability of the graduates. Under the restructuring programme, four departments viz Department of Accounting, Department of Financial Management, Department of Human Resource Management and Department of Marketing were established and decided to offer a single degree programme, Bachelor of Business Administration, with avenues for specialisation under each department. Thus, the Bachelor of Commerce degree programme was discontinued, and the Department of Commerce was not accommodated in the restructured programme. The Bachelor of Business Administration program’s curriculum was reviewed with this restructuring. The internship programme was introduced in 2011 as a prominent component in the fourth year to fulfil the degree to enhance the students’ practical knowledge. After the restructuring, Prof.T.Velnampy, Mrs. R.Yogendrarajah, Mrs.SMC.Aloysius Mahenthiran and Mr.E,Ratnam were appointed as heads of each respective department, such as Accounting, Financial Management, Human Resource Management and Marketing. The Bachelor of Business Management (BBM) degree programme was introduced as an open and distance learning mode (as an online degree program) in Tamil medium for the first time by the Faculty in 2011. This was a remarkable achievement in the history of FMSC. In the same year, Prof. Vasanthy Arasaratnam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Jaffna, laid the foundation stone for the new faculty building at Kalasalai premises.
After one year of Headship at the Department of Accounting, Professor T. Velnampy was elected as the Dean of the Faculty in August 2011 and held office for nine years. Under his deanship, initiatives to recommence the Bachelor of Commerce degree programme were undertaken due to the request from the public and several representations from various quarters. The University Grants Commission approved the proposal to commence the Bachelor of Commerce in late 2011. Following that, the Department of Commerce was reestablished in 2012 and Professor. K. Thevarajah was appointed as the first Head of the department. A new building for the Department of Commerce was built with the help of University Grants Commissions’
19 million worth of grants. It moved to the new premises next to the university’s playground on the respective year.
In 2012, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was started for ‘Youth Leadership’, ‘Community Catalyst’ and for ‘Entrepreneurial Development’ with the collaboration of District Secretariats of Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. Staff from FMSC have been served as the resource persons for this program. Almost five series of programmes were held, lasting for seven years.
In the meantime, the Faculty has spread its services to the external people by offering one- year diploma programmes such as Diploma in Human Resource Management, Diploma in Micro Finance and Diploma in Marketing.
As another milestone, the Faculty extended its external link through the collaboration with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2012. Consequently, the Securities Exchange Commission has agreed to give the gold medal award to students who got the highest Great Point Average from the Financial Management specialisation.
In 2013, the Faculty signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Charted Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA Sri Lanka). Consequently, a Gold Medal has been awarded at general convocation each year by CA Sri Lanka for the most outstanding student in Financial Accounting related course units in
Accounting specialisation. CMA Sri Lanka has also been awarded a gold medal for the most outstanding student in the Accounting specialisation.
During the same year, the Faculty has re-launched a journal named “Journal of Business Studies” (JBS), the first journal of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce with the ISSN number 2362-0269. JBS is a double-blind peer-reviewed scholarly journal in business and management published on a bi-annual basis to create a platform for both local and international scholars to exchange their views and ideas and advance the frontier of theory and practice of business and management through the creation of new knowledge. This journal highly focuses on management areas. Dr.B.Nimalathasan was the first chief editor of JBS after the re- launch. In 2017, JBS was registered into Sri Lankan Journal Online.
In 2014, FMSC won Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century (HETC) grant. The curricula of the two internal degree programmes were revised as per HETC, which World Bank assisted. The BCom Degree was approved with two specialisations: Accounting and Finance (ACF) and Business Technology Management (BTM). The curricula of all diploma courses, including Diploma in HRM, Diploma in Microfinance, and Diploma in Marketing, were also revised.
Another milestone was achieved in 2014 by commencing the Post Graduate Diploma in Management leading to Master of Business Administration. “International Conference on Contemporary Management (ICCM)” was started in the same year and paved the way to local and international researchers to enhance their research capabilities. The Faculty has also established an E-lab with 50 computers and network connections to support student-centred teaching and learning with the help of UGC’s 16.5 million worth of grant. In 2015, Faculty launched another journal called “International Journal of Accounting and Business Finance” (IJABF), focusing on accounting, finance, and economics, a peer- reviewed scientific bi-annual journal with ISSN number 2448 9867. Dr. R. Vijayakumaran was the first chief editor of the journal.
For the first time in the history of FMSC, the international students were enrolled on the Bachelor degree programme in 2015. Further, the collaboration of the Department of HRM with MAS Holdings (Pvt) Ltd brought long term benefits to the Faculty and students. Since 2015, MAS Holdings (Pvt) Ltd has been giving the Best Overall Student award based on GPA and extracurricular activities of Bachelor of Business Administration in HRM specialisation degree on the condition of completing a project. Women Micro Entrepreneurs’ product exhibition on the theme of “penetrating platform for livelihood” was held in our Faculty through Business Incubation Cell (BIC). Further, BIC organised “Creativity Week” at the Faculty in 2016. In addition to that, Block ‘B’ in the new premises was ceremonially opened first in the presence of then Vice-Chancellor, Prof.Vasanthy Arasaratnam, on 15 December 2015.
With the collaboration of the Asia Foundation, FMSC won the NIT grant. Two hundred entrepreneurs were trained under this grant. Best entrepreneurs were selected for product exhibitions and finally won National Awards. With the help of FMSC community reach activities, a few entrepreneurs were exchanged between Jaffna and India for further training. Further our staff was given training of Trainers at South Eastern University under this grant.
In 2017, new land was purchased near to new premises at Kalasalai Road, with the purpose of expansion. Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) cell (IQAC) was created to assure learning with people’s confidence. IQA is considered as the cornerstone of QA in higher education at the Faculty. An external programme review was held at the Faculty in 2018. As the precious award of the Faculty ever received, the Bachelor of Business Administration degree program was graded “A” grade while the Bachelor of Commerce degree programme was graded with B grade
and great appreciation. In 2019, the Tourism and Hospitality Management new degree programme was approved by University Grants Commission as the fifth specialisation under Bachelor of Business Administration. Dr.S.Sivesan was appointed as the coordinator for the programme from 2020.
As the most significant breakthrough in Faculty history, the International Journal of Accounting and Business Finance (IJABF) has been ranked “C” by the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) in 2019. Department of Human Resource Management won the Accelerating Higher Education Expansion and Development (AHEAD) project, funded by the World Bank in 2019. During the same year, another new piece of land was purchased for the Faculty expansion purpose. Block ‘A’ and ‘C’ were ceremonially opened by then Competent Authority, Prof.K.Kandasamy on 8 October 2019 on the invitation of Prof.T.Velnamby. Moreover, Management Students’ Union (MSU) initiated “Green Nation” event by planting several trees in faculty premises. In the year 2019, the FMSC was moved to the new premises, which is situated in Kalasalai Road partially with the Dean’s Office, Department of Human Resource Management and Department of Marketing.
Prof. B.Nimalathasan was elected as the fourth Dean of the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce in 2020. Prof. B. Nimalathasan contributed much to the digitalisation of the structure and the program of the Faculty. During the covid pandemic, FMSC has shifted from blended learning mode to virtual learning mode with the support of all the Faculty’s academic and other administrative support staff. Four semesters of academic activities have been successfully conducted without any hindrances. Besides, five-semester examinations for the Management and Commerce students were conducted via zoom and LMS and marked as the first Faculty to conduct exams via online mode in the University of Jaffna.
In 2020, FMSC coordinated the Graduate Training program conducted by the Ministry of Public Management and UGC. Our staff also contributed to the Graduate Training programme to Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu graduate trainees. Further, the Pillaiyar Temple located in the faculty new premises has been expanded.
In 2021, the Department of Financial Management and Accounting moved to the new premises and beautified the surrounding. With this shift, the 6th ICCM was held in the new premises as a virtual conference with the collaboration of the Emerald publishing group. As a remarkable event of the conference, Professor. Parasuraman, Professor I.M.Pandey and Professor. Gary Dessler were the keynotes speakers, and they shared their knowledge and experience in academic research with participants. First time in history, our Faculty’s research conference collaborated with Emerald publishers. During the same period, the vision and mission statements of the Faculty have been fine-tuned as “to be a leading centre of excellence in teaching, learning, research and scholarship in Management and Commerce”. And the mission statement is “to transform the lives of students by developing their academic potential, creativity, employability, global insight and ethical awareness to outperform in a challenging business environment and to make a real difference in the world as an entrepreneur, as an investor, as a manager, and strategic planner”. Further, the Pillaiyar Temple, which is located in the faculty new premises, has been renovated.
In 2021, the BBA and BCom, and BBM degree programme curricula have been revised. Further, the students’ hardship funds programme was introduced to BBM students. Moreover, the first- ever newsletter of the Faculty was released. Recently CA Sri Lanka signed MoU with our Faculty, and CIPM had the initial conversation with the Department of HRM for signing MOU. Further, Department of Marketing signed a MOU with SLIM, and Department of Financial Management and Department of Accounting had an introductory discussion with Charted
Financial Association Society (CFA Society) and ACCA, respectively in the same year. The Faculty introduced the MaCoSIS system and took numerous sustainable digital transformational activities to enrich the holistic operations of the faculty. We can say that this is a golden year for the Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce. The journey of FMSC goes through different stages of development to produce globally competent graduates in all spheres of life.
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