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Main Events of 2014 at Masaryk University

What brought the past year? Read about the key moments.

2014 was a year of building openings. Masaryk University saw a whole range of large European projects, hence academicians as well as students gained access not only to new Ceitec pavilions on the campus, but also to the Faculty of Education library and to the Faculty of Informatics new front building. MU also commemorated the 95th anniversary of its foundation; for the very first time, the institution awarded its best teachers according to students' votes; and it also opened the first year of a children's university.

The following year should see preparations of the university's internal rules for the amendment to the Higher Education Act, which will fundamentally change the way courses gain accreditation.

You can read more about specific events in the following overview.

Masaryk University celebrated its 95th anniversary
People were still recovering from WWI, the independent Czechoslovakia had been in existence for barely a few months and the cinemas only played silent movies. The second Czech university, Masaryk University, was born into such an environment in 1919. This was made possible by Act No. 50 of January 28, 1919. Thanks to this law, the university has been able to spread education and scientific knowledge in this country as well as abroad for 95 years.

On January 28th, academics and students commemorated the anniversary of their alma mater in the University cinema Scala. Rectors of the other three Brno universities received gold medals on this occasion. After all, cooperation among higher education institutions has been typical of the Brno academic community in recent years.

Dean Milan Pol.

Milan Pol became the new Dean of the Faculty of Arts
Professor Milan Pol was elected by the Academic Senate as the new head of the Faculty of Arts of MU for the next four years. He replaced Josef Krob in this function. He said about his plans for leading the faculty: "I'm a man of development, but also a man of agreement. By development, I mean aiming for higher quality. By agreement, I don't mean low demands. "

Czech scientists refined the discovery of a Nobel Prize laureate in the area of enzymes functioning
Due to an unsuccessful experiment with enzymes, experts from the MU Faculty of Science refined a 120-year-old theory of Nobel Prize laureate Hermann Emil Fischer. This theory claims that an enzyme's function is determined by the structure of its active site. A group of ten Czech scientists proved that this rule does not apply to all enzymes.

Climate scientists described weather in the 16th century
In May, a team of authors led by Rudolf Brázdil was awarded the Rector's Award for Outstanding Creative Activity for their publication Climate of the Sixteenth Century in the Czech Lands. Experts searched for information mainly in documentary sources, such as chronicle entries, business and private correspondence, journals and diaries, or newspapers and magazines. The first instrument observations of the weather in the Czech lands did not appear until the 18th century.

Jiří Němec will become the Dean of the Faculty of Education
The Academic Senate of the Faculty of Education elected Jiří Němec as a candidate for Dean. The current Vice-Rector for student welfare and the head of the Department of Social Education will accede to the function on February 1, 2015.

Commemorative deed signed by Masaryk.

Workers discovered the foundation stone and a commemorative deed during reconstruction
The foundation stone of the Faculty of Law of MU, which is also the foundation stone of the proposed Academic Quarter under Kraví hora, was discovered in June during the reconstruction of the faculty building on Veveří. A commemorative deed was found inside and, upon agreement with conservationists, taken out. The stone had lain untouched in the ground for 86 years, its laying on June 9, 1928 was also witnessed by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk who signed the deed.

Watch the videos from the removal of the case and its opening

Reconstruction brought the Auditorium back to the 1930s
The reconstruction cost 6.6 million Czech crowns and was completed in August at the Auditorium of the MU Faculty of Law. The institution proceeded with the reconstruction because modernization of the interior as well as wheel-chair accessible entrances for handicapped students were needed. At the same time, the appearance of the premises as they looked in the 1930s, when the building was built, was also partially restored. The painting named Prometheus Brings Fire to Mankind, which decorates the whole front wall of the Auditorium, was cleaned and conserved as well.

Ceitec opened
In September, two Ceitec buildings (Central European Institute of Technology) were opened on campus. The first equipment and first scientists already started to move into the new premises during summer. Construction of the pavilions, one of which has an atypical oval shape, lasted less than two years and the project is now striving for the Building of the Year title. The costs, including equipment and devices, amounted to roughly one billion crowns.

At the start of the semester, the Faculty of Education got a new library
In September, the Faculty of Education opened a brand new library and premises for five research institutes. Students and employees of the faculty can find them all in one building under the name Center for Research Institutes and Doctoral Studies (CVIDOS) at Poříčí 31. The new building is very convenient for students and other visitors of the library as well as employees of the institutes, since due to a lack of suitable premises, these institutions had been functioning in confined conditions, and for example various parts of the library had to be located in different places.

New building of Faculty of Informatics.

The new academic year at the Faculty of Informatics started in new buildings
Students and teachers of the Faculty of Informatics began the Autumn semester of this academic year in brand new buildings. The more than two-year-long construction of the compound on Botanická street was completed and the faculty thus gained better conditions for lessons as well as research in the area of informatics, a scientific and technical park and a computer center for processing scientific data. The two buildings were built thanks to the project Center for Education, Research and Innovation in ICT (CERIT) which cost more than half a billion Czech crowns from the European Structural Funds.

New students of Masaryk jUniversity.

The first year of the children's university started
“People tell me that I am still just a child, but I will study at a university. I promise that I will always yearn for knowledge. Someone has to invent things that do not exist yet." New students of Masaryk jUniversity began their year by taking this oath. The historically first year of the children's university was inaugurated in the Scala cinema.

Winner`s team of Masaryk University.

Third victory of the MU team in an ice hockey drama
In the traditional ice hockey university match in October, the Masaryk University team won over the Brno University of Technology team 3:2 in game winning shots. In this dramatic duel, players of the blue team had to tie the score twice, but in the end they managed to secure victory for the third time in a row.

Doctors revealed how tumors develop in children's brains
Scientist from the Faculty of Medicine of Masaryk University helped to reveal how some tumors, called medulloblastomas, develop in children's brains. An article about the discovery of the mechanism and the gene that triggers tumor growth of around five percent of the tumors was published by the prestigious journal Nature.

A recognized molecular biologist started working at Ceitec MU
The recognized molecular biologist Mary O'Connell, who has worked in the world's foremost research institutes such as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, joined the Central European Institute of Technology of Masaryk University (Ceitec MU) in October. Bringing her on board was made possible by a prestigious European Grant from the ERA Chairs program, which Masaryk University was the only institution in the Czech Republic to win.

Entrance exams to MU will include foreign languages
Questions in a foreign language will be newly included in the learning potential test, the successful passing of which is a prerequisite for admission to seven of the nine faculties of Masaryk University. The university wants to make sure that prospective students will also be able to react to questions asked in a language other than Czech.

Outstanding teachers of Masaryk University

Students selected outstanding teachers for the first time
Winners of the Rector's Award for Outstanding Teachers received small bronze medals of Masaryk University in early November in the Faculty of Law Auditorium. There were nine winners, one for each faculty of the university. The ceremony was held for the very fist time. The university aims at further improving the quality of teaching.

Peter Demetz (on the left)

The literary scholar Demetz received an honorary doctorate
Literary and German studies scholar and Professor Emeritus of Yale University Peter Demetz received an honorary doctorate from Masaryk University at the end of November. It is one of the highest awards that the university grants mainly, but not only for contributions to science. Peter Demetz is connected to Brno due to his personal memories, since he spent his youth in the Moravian metropolis during the era of the First Czechoslovak Republic.

Markéta Selucká is to become the new Dean of the Faculty of Law
In December, the Academic Senate elected Markéta Selucká as the head of the Faculty of Law. If appointed by the Rector, she will replace Naděžda Rozehnalová who has already held this office twice and could not run for re-election again. If she is appointed, Selucká will lead the faculty from April 1, 2015 for the following four years.

The Academic Club will offer coffee in the atmosphere of the First Czechoslovak Republic
A unique café and restaurant with the atmosphere of the First Czechoslovak Republic opened for students and staff of the university on December 8 at the MU Rector's Office building. The premises were created by a reconstruction of the Academic canteen on Moravské náměstí which has been operating since 1920. The entrance to the Academic Club is currently possible from the court of the Rector's Office building or directly from the building. The reconstruction amounted to two million Czech crowns.