Initiating a splendid tenure of leadership, Professor D. M. Semasinghe, assumed duty as the new vice Chancellor of the University of Kelaniya with effect from 20 March 2017. He is a member of the Department of Commerce and Financial Management, Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies (FCMS), University of Kelaniya, and became the first Vice Chancellor elected from the FCMS.
Prof. Semasinghe completed his secondary education from U. B. Wanninayake Central College, Galgamuwa, and subsequently entered to the University of Kelaniya in 1983. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Special Degree and later obtained his Master of Commerce Degree (MCom) from the same university in 1998.Initiaing a much wider spectrum of knowledge excellence, he completed his doctoral degree from the Queensland University of Technology, Australia being the first Sri Lankan PhD holder in the stream of Entrepreneurship.
Extending his caliber as an academia, he served in several key positions in the university such as the Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies, the Head of the Department of Commerce and Financial Management, Coordinator of the Improving Relevance and Quality of Undergraduate Education (IRQUE), The chairperson of Corporate Plan Committee of the University of Kelaniya. In brief, his current position as the Vice Chancellor is blessed with his previous exposure marked as a successful administrator.
Moreover, Professor D.M. Semasinghe was honored as the Founder of the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree in the University of Kelaniya and the program is recognized as the first-ever DBA Program of the country. Within his preview as a leader, he was able to win a Rs. 68.4 million competitive grant under the Improving Relevance and Quality of Undergraduate Education (IRQUE/QEF)—a World Bank funded Project—becoming the only recipient by the university in 2006.
Being a former head of the Department of Commerce and Financial Management, University of Kelaniya, he initiated to introduce the Bachelor of Commerce Special Degree in Entrepreneurship to the Department of Commerce and Financial Management, University of Kelaniya. During his tenure as the Dean of the Faculty, he led the faculty to embrace timely valued achievements including introducing of first ISO certified and SAP Alliance Degree Program in the University System, introduction of five undergraduate programs, three Postgraduate Programs, six Diploma, Higher Diploma Programs and the first Online Master Degree in the year of 2013. To uplift the value of the teaching faculty, he took needful steps to establish a Staff Development Unit in the Faculty, Center for Management Research (CMR), three Story Building, State-of-Art Computer Lab, Auditorium, and Philip Kotler Centre for Advanced Marketing, Skills Development Centre and Reference Library in the Faculty of Commerce and Management Studies. He is the key figure behind the generation of sharply increased faculty income. Professor D. M. Semasinghe facilitated funds for 25 Academics for PhD training. He took part in the initiation of twelve industry partnerships and four international collaborations. And also he was instrumental to implement the highest soft skills development programs for students in a year. The present university Corporate Plan was developed under his leadership.
In addition, he is a prominent scholar who has published a large number of articles in indexed and Refereed Journals. Professor D. M. Semasinghe demonstrated his expertise in the field through conference presentations whilst being the editor of several books and journals. His valued service has been highly appreciated and Senate Awards have been rewarded on his commitment. Meantime, he has been conferred several scholarships to empower his academic knowledge upon on the talents and exposure proven in the field.
His professional network is a well-connected sphere as he is a member of many associations, such as a Founding Member of Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Research Academy and South Asia Forum of Entrepreneurship Education and Research (SAFEER) whilst being a Member of European Centre for Research Training and Development (ECRTD) – United Kingdom. During the past few years, he chaired number of conferences, and took part as the Keynote Speaker and reviewer in many conferences and forums in the local and global context. Alongside, Prof.Semasinghe is keen to turnaround the University of Kelaniya via academic excellence, professional governing practices and flagship with corporate sector stakeholders.