The public debate was organised by representatives of the MU Academic Senate and the rector election committee and took place at the Scala University Cinema. The event started with the introduction of the only candidate, the current MU Rector Martin Bareš. This was followed by a moderated discussion interspersed with questions asked by the audience in the cinema and online, as the debate was also streamed on the MU YouTube channel. Questions that could not be answered due to time constraints, as well as other and newly asked questions, will be answered in the IS MU discussion thread in the coming days.
In the opening address, the chairman of the MU Academic Senate election committee, Ivan Foletti, described the debate as part of “our Rector’s campaign to continue serving as our Rector”. “It will be interesting to learn how Martin Bareš views our progress over the past four years and to compare his manifesto from when he first came into office with reality, as well as to find out about his vision for the next period,” said Mr Foletti.
Mr Bareš started by presenting his programme manifesto and an overview of the events that took place during the four years of his tenure. He spoke about the Covid-19 pandemic and the ways in which MU handled it, the crisis brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the activities of the MUNI HELPS Volunteer Centre, the reincorporation of the Faculty of Pharmacy to Masaryk University, the development of the Bohunice campus and the Vinařská dormitory complex, and he also mentioned research and grants, sustainability initiatives and issues related to the funding of higher education institutions.
He stressed that MU’s achievements belonged to all members of the academic community whose work made them possible. “I can’t mention everything, but I can promise that Masaryk University will always be my number one priority and I will not relent in my efforts to make it grow and prosper,” said Martin Bareš.
The opening presentation was followed by a public discussion where members of the academic staff could ask questions and give feedback. They thanked the MU management for its response and initiative concerning the employment of refugees from Ukraine, inquired about the benefits of the campus development for the Faculty of Pharmacy and also for the other faculties, and commented on the amendment to the Higher Education Institutions Act and the legislative support for PhD students. Students in the audience were interested in issues such as communication, the sustainability drive and the MU code of ethics governing MU cooperation with the commercial sector. After answering the final question about equal opportunities at MU, Martin Bareš thanked the audience for a constructive discussion.
The election of the new MU Rector will take place on Monday 3 April at 3 pm in Karel Engliš Auditorium in the building of the MU Faculty of Law. The new Rector will be elected in a secret ballot by the MU Academic Senate, which has a total of 55 members, of whom 22 are students. The Academic Senate has a quorum to vote on the candidate for the office of MU Rector if an absolute majority of all its members are present. A candidate is elected if an absolute majority of all MU Academic Senate members vote in favour.
Subsequently, the Minister of Education proposes the elected candidate for appointment by the President of the Czech Republic. The new Rector’s four-year term of office starts on 1 September 2023 and ends on 31 August 2027. Find more information on the election of MU Rector here.