Academic Senate of Palacký University approves proposal to integrate research centres
On Wednesday, February 13, the Academic Senate of Palacký University (AS UP) approved the proposal to integrate the research capacities and activities of Palacký University into a new university institute. Such a newly established university institute will join three research centres based at the Faculty of Science (PřF) and the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (LF), with the support of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Science (IOCB) and the University Hospital Olomouc (FNOL). The proposal received 20 yes votes and 2 undecided votes. The current university regulations will have to be redesigned to suit the new situation.
According to Jaroslav Miller, the UP Rector, the result of the voting represents a climax of the year 2019, which was reached only in February. With respect to it, the university will have to undertake structural reforms. The major pillar of such reforms must be internationalization, teaching, and the concept of a university as a scientific institution. The new university institute is considered a fundamental step to increasing the chance for the university to achieve success in international science competitions.
“We all must make a mental adjustment; we must support quality and internationalization. The world around keeps changing and we must keep up with it. We are now deciding between stagnation and open doors for further development; between isolation and collaboration; between rigidness and wide visions”, said Jaroslav Miller prior to the crucial voting. The proposal that he put forward was a result of long-term negotiations of a special committee with representatives of the university management, management of the two related faculties, as well as the directors of the three centres — Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials (RCPTM), Centre of the Region Haná for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research (CRH), and Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine (IMTM).
The directors of both IOCB and FNOL have repeatedly expressed their interest in collaboration with the new institute. “We are offering an integrated partnership. We have opted for Olomouc since the concentration of excellent scientists is remarkably high here. The institute will be able to cover various areas which we take interest in,” said Zdeněk Hostomský, IOCB Director. According to Roman Havlík, FNOL Director, the university and the hospital have a great potential. He did not forget to mention that the surrounding environment is rather conservative and reluctant to accept changes, though. “I consider it a chance to systematize science of the two institutions,” said Havlík.
Milan Kolář, the LF Dean, supports the new university institute. “Establishing such an institute could be compared to vaccination, meaning prevention of potential problems in the future. I foresee the synergic effect this act will bring,” said Kolář.
Martin Kubala, the PřF Dean, also participated in the debate prior to the voting. He called for a discussion about some controversial issues related to the proposal. “If everything has been thought through and consensus has been reached, I will not block it,” said Kubala. The senators also called for a broad consensus from the side of the leaders.
According to Jiří Langer, the AS UP Chairman, the senators regard the idea of establishing such an institute as constructive and stimulating; therefore the senate said a resounding yes. “I want to make clear that we have just accepted the proposal to integrate the research capacities and activities of Palacký University. The senators view the idea of the new university institute positively. The proposal must be now worked on and subsequently submitted in the form of a draft law, which will comply with the university lawmaking. The senate has asked the rector to act accordingly,” said Langer.
Resolution of the AS UP: AS UP approves the proposal to integrate the research capacities and activities of Palacký University by establishing a university institute, and asks the rector to put forward a draft law that will comply with the university lawmaking.
The AS UP declares that the final decision to establish the university institute is subject the AS UP in the form of approving the university institute’s regulations. AS UP asks the rector to have the academic senates of PřF and LF discuss the new regulations.