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MU starts new academic year with seven vice-rectors

At its 272nd meeting on Monday, 18 September 2023, the Academic Senate of Masaryk University approved two proposals submitted by Rector Martin Bareš regarding the appointment of new vice-rectors and the dismissal and appointment of members of the MU Scientific Board.

The first meeting of the Academic Senate of Masaryk University in the academic year 2023/2024 took place on 18 September at the Faculty of Science.

“It is symbolic that we are meeting on the very first day of the new academic year, at a time when a number of bodies, the University’s management and the composition of the Masaryk University Scientific Board are changing,” said Martin Bareš at the beginning of the meeting.

Before asking for the Academic Senate of Masaryk University for its opinion on his intention to appoint new vice-rectors, he recalled the University’s activities from June to September, including the MjUNI graduation and matriculation ceremonies, the appointment of Jiří Barnat as Dean of the MU Faculty of Informatics, and the appointment of Pavel Plevka as director of CEITEC. He also highlighted the large public attendance of the Masaryk University Symphony Orchestra concert in Denisovy sady, noting that the event was symbolic of MU’s relationship with future students and the city of Brno. He also recalled MU’s success in the prestigious QS World University Rankings, where it was placed among the 400 best universities in the world, making Masaryk University the fastest improving university in the Czech Republic.

The new Vice-Rector for Internationalisation will be Petr Suchý, who will also take over the EDUC agenda.

The number of vice-rectors remains unchanged for this academic year, with four men and three women serving on the seven-member team. The portfolios of the vice-rectors (listed below in the article) have also been changed, and the MU Academic Senate has approved their appointment (40 votes for Radim Polčák, 39 for Michal Bulant, 40 for Šárka Pospíšilová, 35 for Jiří Hanuš, 34 for Monika Jandová, 24 for Petr Suchý, and 32 for Jana Fialová). Following their appointment, the vice-rectors become members of the MU top management team, which – in addition to the Rector – also includes the bursar Marta Valešová, the chancellor Marián Kišš and the new strategy director Šárka Řehořová.

The MU Rector Martin Bareš also submitted a proposal to the Academic Senate a request to dismiss the current members of the MU Scientific Board and appoint new ones. Among the nominees were 26 new members. In total, the Senate voted on 38 candidates from MU and 24 candidates from outside the University. Rector Martin Bareš emphasised that he had covered all areas of education and included the deans of individual MU faculties among the internal candidates; as for the members coming from other institutions, he had included rectors of other universities, as he felt that opinions and feedback from outside the University would be beneficial. The members of the Senate then stressed that the candidates’ research activities and their participation in meetings should be taken into account. In their final vote, the senators approved the appointment of all 62 candidates, nearly half of whom are women.

The appointment of new members of the CEITEC MUNI 2023-2026 Scientific Board was also approved at the meeting.

New Vice-Rectors of Masaryk University:

prof. doc. JUDr. Radim Polčák, Ph.D.

Vice-rector for Development, Legal and Information technologies
the Rector’s deputy

Professor Polčák served as Vice-Rector of MU from 2019 to 2023; he is a lawyer, specialising mainly in IT law, intellectual property law and legal aspects of cyber security; he is the head of the Institute of Law and Technology at the MU Faculty of Law. He gained his professional experience at MU and other institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad. He is a member of the Public Law Commission of the Czech Government’s Legislative Council, a leading representative of the Czech Centre of Excellence for Cybercrime, and he heads the MU Rector’s Expert Council on Cybercrime and Cybersecurity. He is a founding member of the European Law Institute in Vienna and the European Academy of Law and ICT.

Mgr. Michal Bulant, Ph.D.

Vice-rector for Studies and Quality

Dr Bulant has extensive experience at all levels of university management; he has been Vice-Rector since 2015, previously served as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Science and as chair of the Academic Senate of Masaryk University. He is a mathematician by profession and his main areas of interest include number theory and computer algebra systems; he works at the Department of Mathematics and Statistics of the MU Faculty of Science. He is also very active outside the University; for example, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the CESNET association, the working group of the Ministry of Education and Science to evaluate the implementation of the strategic plan, and the working group of the Czech Rectors’ Conference for Education and Cooperation with the National Accreditation Bureau for Higher Education.

prof. RNDr. Šárka Pospíšilová, Ph.D.

Vice-Rector for Research and Doctoral Studies

Professor Pospíšilová served as Vice-Rector of MU from 2019 to 2023; she is a very successful scientist, has extensive expertise in genetics, genomics and molecular haemato-oncology and is a member of many important national and international scientific consortia. She has received numerous scientific awards, including the Czech Medical Association of J. E. Purkyně Award and the Czech Minister of Health Award, and was elected a member of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) in 2022. She works at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Genomics and at the Internal Hematology and Oncology Clinic of the MU Faculty of Medicine and the University Hospital Brno, and at the Centre for Molecular Medicine CEITEC MUNI.

prof. PhDr. Jiří Hanuš, Ph.D.

Vice-Rector for Academic and Cultural affairs

Professor Hanuš served as Vice-Rector of MU from 2019 to 2023; he is a historian and his main areas of expertise include general history of the 19th and 20th centuries, history of culture and historiography. He is also a scholar of the history of Masaryk University and European higher education, and has published several scholarly and popular works in this field. He also gained experience in publishing and organizational activities at the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Culture, which he co-founded.

Ing. Monika Jandová, Ph.D.

Vice-Rector for personnel policy, lifelong learning and sustainability

Dr Jandová has been Vice-Dean for Internationalisation at the Faculty of Economics and Administration of Masaryk University since 2020. Since 2009, she has been working at the Department of Economics; her expertise is in transport economics and her research activity is mainly focused on the impact of competition on railways. Since 2015 she has been the manager of international activities of the Institute for Transport Economics, Geography and Policy ITREGEP. In 2014-2016 she was a member of the staff chamber of the Academic Senate of the MU Faculty of Economics and Administration.

PhDr. Petr Suchý, Ph.D.

Vice-Rector for internationalisation

Dr Suchý has many years of experience in academic and managerial positions. Since 2019, he has been the Vice-Dean for Internationalisation and Student Affairs at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University. In 2006-2019 he served as the Head of the Department of International Relations and European Studies, and in 2004-2019 he was a member of the MU Academic Senate. In 2002-2006 he was as a member of the Academic Senate of the MU Faculty of Social Studies and served as its chair for two years. As a political scientist, his main areas of expertise are the development of US foreign and security policy from World War II to the present and the role of nuclear weapons in international relations.

Mgr. Jana Fialová, Ph.D.

Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and External relations

Dr Fialová has been Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and External Relations at MU since spring 2023. Until 2018, she was Vice-Dean for Student Affairs at MU Faculty of Medicine. She has been employed at the university since 2008 and since 2012 as an assistant professor at the Department of Public Health of the MU Faculty of Medicine. Her main areas of expertise include prevention of non-infectious and infectious diseases, health education and healthy lifestyle, and she also specialises in occupational hygiene and public health protection. She has actively participated in faculty and university bodies for a many years.