On Wednesday, February 13, Palacký University Academic Senate approved the intention to integrate scientific and research capacities and processes of UP into a new university body, which shall link the three existing scientific centers of Faculty of Science and Medical faculty with Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (IOCB) of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and the University Hospital Olomouc as its potential partners. There were 20 Senators voting in favour of the institute, 2 members of the Academic Senate abstained. Now amendments to the internal regulations and standards necessary for the establishment of the institute itself will follow.
According to Rector Jaroslav Miller, who called the senators’ vote a premature pinnacle of 2019, the intention is to establish a University Institute as part of the internal structural reform that the University must go through. As its main pillar, he described internationalization, teaching and the idea of the University as a scientific institution. He considers the new institute to be an important step to increase the University’s chance to succeed in major international scientific competitions and to strengthen its competitiveness.
“We all need to change our mentality, promote quality and open towards ideas from abroad. The world around us is galloping and it does not help to pretend that it does not concern us. We choose between stagnation and opening the door to further development, between cooperation and isolation, between a strong vision and a thought for today,” the Rector said before the vote. His proposal was the result of several months worth of expert committee meetings and negotiations with representatives of University management, with both faculties concerned as well as with the directors of CRH, RCPTM, and UMTM.
There has been interest in interconnecting with the new institute repeatedly expressed by the directors of IOCB AS CR and University Hospital Olomouc. “We are offering an integrated partnership. We have chosen because there is an unusually high concentration of excellent scientists. The new institute would cover a wide range of disciplines that are at the center of our interest,” IOCB Director Zdeněk Hostomský said. According to the director of the University Hospital Roman Havlík, both University and University Hospital have great potential. At the same time, however, he pointed to the fact that it is a very conservative environment that does not welcome changes too much. “I feel the opportunity for the creation of a new institute which will bring about more structure and system into the science of both institutions,” Havlík said.
The establishment of the University institute is also supported by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Milan Kolář. “I consider the establishment of the new institute to be a suitable way of vaccination, that is to prevent future potential problems that might arise at the University. In addition, I see the synergic effect that this step can bring,” said Kolář.
The Dean of the Faculty of Science, Martin Kubala, who wants to discuss some of the according to him controversial parts of the proposal, has also joined the debate. “If it is discussed and there will be an agreement of the majority on the constitution, I personally will not block it,” he said. During the meeting, the senators also repeated the appeal to all the negotiators to try to reach the greatest possible consensus.
According to Jiří Langer, Chairman of the AS UP, the Senators consider the idea of the establishment of a University institute to be very prominent, therefore the AS UP has accepted it with great support. “But I would like to point out that we have supported the idea of integration of scientific research capacities and processes at the moment. Senators perceive the idea of a new University institute positively. The petitioner must now complete the proposal in order to comply with the Order of normative formation at UP. That is what the Senators now ask of the Rector,” he explained.
AS UP Resolution: AS UP approves the intention to integrate scientific-research capacities and processes of UP by establishing University institute at Palacký University in Olomouc and asks the Rector to present a legal intention of establishing University Institute in accordance with the Order of normative formation of UP.
AS UP concludes that the final decision on the establishment of University Institute is subject to approval by the AS UP in the form of adopting the relevant internal regulations. AS UP also calls on the Rector to discuss such internal regulations with the academic senates of Medical Faculty UP and Faculty of Science UP.