Prof. Panditharatne conferred highest degree by SUSL

Professor B. L. Panditharatne was conferred the highest degree – Doctor of Sciences (Honors Causa) – by the Sabaragamuwa University at its 11th Convocation held on January 15, 2009, for his commitment and dedication to the cause of higher Education and Geographical sciences.

Professor Panditharatne graduated with honours in Geography from the University of Ceylon 1954 (first set of Graduates of the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya) MSc from the University of the Philippines (1955) and Ph.D (London) U.K. in 1960.

Prof. Panditharatne’s services to the University of Ceylon and University of Peradeniya were unique as he combined adequately and effectively the academic and administrative sectors at the highest level. In academic sector, he held the post of Dean / Faculty of Arts (1975), Senior Professor of Geography. In academic administration, President of the Peradeniya Campus (1977-1978) first Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya (Under Provisions of the Universities Act. No. 16 of 1978 ) He was a Member of the University Grants Commission (1985 - 1994) and its Chairman in (1993 - 1994).

As a teacher, researcher, examiner and research supervisor for a period of 40 year’s, he impacted on the academic formation of more than 10,000 students in geography who continued to occupy high job positions in the Public and Private Sectors.

His research articles are in several referred journals, in Sri Lanka and abroad coupled with several books, monographs and consultative reports.

Prof. Panditharatne had a distinguished academic record and the receipant of five prestigious international Fellowships namely: Visiting Senior Scientist (National Science Foundation Award USA, tenable of the University of Aknon Ohio (1968); Senior Visiting Fellow of West Autralian Institute of Technology and Western Australia University (1976); Commonwealth Visiting Professor at Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone (1977); Senior Fullbright Award (Scholor in Residence of the University of Maryland (1984 - 1985) and Senior-visiting Fellow at Mainz University of West Germany on a DAAD Fellowship (1986). He was invited to Serve as visiting Professor at The Fresno State University California (1967) Plattsberg State University New york (1971) and visiting Professor at the summer school of the Universities of Akran, Maryland and State University of Michigan. Further on invitation he visited selected universities of South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines and United Kingdom.

Prof. Panditharatne combined his academic functions concurrently with part time managerial roles as Chairman and Director General of the National Institute of Business Management (N.I.B.M - 1988) and Chairman and Director General of the Mineral Sands Corporation (Lanka Mineral Sands in 1989 - 1994).

In a consultative capacity, he served as a Member of the following Boards of Management: the United States Educational Foundation of Sri Lankan, National Social Science Council, National Institute of Education Koralawala Academy, National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) and Coast Conservation.

When he retired from University Service in 1996, on invitation he accepted the post of Director of Studies at the American College of Higher Education and holds this post up to date.

He kept University contact as a Member of the Standing Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences ( UGC a Member of the Council of The University of Colombo) and its Faculty of Graduate Studies and Finally of Arts and a Member of the Interim Committee of the National Center for advanced studies in Humanities and Social Sciences.

He keeps his educational interests as an invited resource person in the assessment programme of IRGUE Participant as an External Examiner for research degrees of certain Universities and as a writer of books on relevant subjects on higher education.

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