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Who will be Dean? Two candidates presented their visions for Faculty of Education

The candidates for the position of Dean of the Faculty of Education presented their programmes in a public debate today. The election by the faculty’s Academic Senate will take place on 27 September.

Simona Koryčánková and Tomáš Janík are the candidates for the post of Dean of the Faculty of Education.

Before the candidates Tomáš Janík and Simona Koryčánková took the floor in the Faculty of Education’s largest lecture hall, MU Rector Martin Bareš addressed the students, staff and members of the Academic Senate. He stated that the Faculty of Education is a valued member of the Masaryk University family, and he made remarks on the election.

MU rector Martin Bareš

“My role here is not to express my sympathies towards individual candidates. The role of the Rector is to appoint the candidate who will be nominated by the Academic Senate for the position of Dean. I know the Vice-Rector and the Vice-Dean personally and I say here with certainty that I will be glad to appoint either of them,” said Rector Martin Bareš. He also thanked the current dean Jiří Němec for his almost eight years of work as the head of the Faculty and asked the Academic Senate to choose his successor carefully based on the vision Masaryk University as a whole is pursuing.

Current dean Jiří Němec.

The outgoing Dean Jiří Němec also expressed his belief in a responsible choice in his introductory speech. “In the debate that follows, do not ask about the things the candidates explained in their programme statements. Ask about the things that are not there, about things you are interested in. I would like you to ask the questions here, not behind closed doors of your offices or elsewhere out of the public eye,” he urged the audience.

In alphabetical order, Tomáš Janík was the first to take the floor for twenty minutes to present his vision. Simona Koryčánková followed with her presentation immediately thereafter.

Tomáš Janík

Tomáš Janík is a graduate of the Faculty of Education. He completed the habilitation procedure in 2008 and became a full professor of pedagogy in 2018. At the Faculty, he heads the Institute for Research in School Education and serves as Vice-Dean for Research and Academic Affairs. His areas of expertise include educational reforms, teacher professionalisation, curriculum, and teaching and learning. Regarding research methodology, he concentrates predominantly on research based on video recording analysis. At the Faculty, he teaches research methodology, comparative pedagogy and didactics.

“Serving as Dean of Masaryk University’s Faculty of Education would be not only an opportunity and a challenge, but also a great honour and commitment for me. I would like to build on the work of previous deans who – in the new climate of freedom that followed the fall of the communist regime in 1989 – have contributed to making higher education and teacher training far more open, autonomous, democratic and participatory. These are fundamental values that need to be built upon and pursued further,” said candidate Tomáš Janík in his programme statement (in Czech only).

Tomáš Janík presented four main visions for the further development of the Faculty of Education: the Faculty should be (1) an expert organisation focused on teaching; (2) a place for preparation for professional assistance; (3) an actor of inter-professional and inter-disciplinary cooperation; and (4) a mediator of the individual disciplines to the public. He also thanked the current Dean for having the opportunity to serve on his team for eight years and assured those present that he was not planning any sweeping changes in the direction of the Faculty’s development, except for the implementation of a series of formative assessments.  

Simona Koryčánková

Simona Koryčánková is also a graduate of the Faculty of Education and has been a member of the Faculty since 1994. Since 2001 she has been the Head of the Department of Russian Language and Literature, and from 2016 to 2020, she held the position of Vice-Dean for Development and External Relations. She currently serves as the MU Vice-Rector for Student and Alumni Affairs. Her research deals with topics in the field of lexical-semantic analysis of poetic texts and the methodology of Russian language teaching..

“In the current social and political circumstances, we must be able to respond flexibly to emerging situations and challenges that we cannot anticipate. In September 2018, Dean Jiří Němec expressed in his programme statement a belief that his term in office would be marked by greater stability. However, the crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the deteriorating international security environment have significantly impacted the operations of the Faculty. Currently, we can, unfortunately, expect neither an ebb in these crises nor a quick return to the pre-pandemic and pre-war state of affairs. With my team, I am ready to work very hard, lead professional discussions and make strategic decisions that will ensure the further development of the Faculty of Education as an important and prestigious institution,” said Simona Koryčánková in her programme statement (in Czech only).

Simona Koryčánková thanked the current management of the Faculty for their work. She also introduced her team of future vice-deans she wants to bring to the management. She presented her values and her objective to make sure that the Faculty remains the best faculty of education in the Czech Republic and an important and prestigious institution.

The presentation of the candidate concluded with a debate among the staff and students of the Faculty. Simona Koryčánková and Tomáš Janík answered questions about security, digitalisation, strengthening of public relations, interfaculty cooperation and student associations.

The new Dean of the Faculty of Education will be elected by the Faculty’s Academic Senate on Tuesday 27 September. An absolute majority of votes, twelve out of twenty-three senators, is required for election. After appointment by the Rector of Masaryk University, the new Dean will take office on 1 February 2023.