Academic Council of Masaryk University
Doc. MUDr. Vladimír Palyza, CSc.,
Chair of Academic Council
A newly elected Academic Council of Masaryk University (AS MU) succeeded its predecessor on December 16 1996 and by the end of 1997 had completed the first of three years in office (1997-99).
At present AS MU has 49 members, and each of the seven faculties contributes seven Council members. The Council is divided into a Staff Chamber and a Student Chamber. The Staff Chamber comprises four council members from each faculty; the Student Chamber comprises three council members from each faculty. Deputy chairs of AS MU are RNDr. Ludik Matyska CSc. (MU Faculty of Informatics) for the Staff Chamber and Marek Svoboda (MU Faculty of Medicine) for the Student Chamber.
The current AS MU elected its Legislative Committee (chair JUDr. Dana Hrabcová, Faculty of Law) and its Economic Committee (chair Ing. Antonín Hlaváeek, Faculty of Economics and Administration), and also delegated its members as representatives of both MU and its individual faculties for the Institutes of Higher Education Board. Since April 1997 detailed information on the workings of AS MU are available on the Internet at "http://senat.muni.cz".
Academic officials - from the senior management of MU and from individual faculties - visited each of the six AS MU plenary sessions of 1997. The AS MU chair has a permanent invitation to meetings of MU senior management and the Rector's Board. The Student Chamber of ASMU was in close contact with the Vice-Rectors responsible for halls of residence and foreign affairs. Members of the Economic Committee conferred on matters of the economy with the Bursar and his department, and many of the problems with which the Legislative Committee was faced were discussed with the Department for Legal Matters of the Rector's Office.
The main item on the agenda of both AS MU meetings in March was the MU budget for 1997 and its approval. Another issue facing the Council concerned the status of faculties and universities, and twelve adjustments were made to this. The Council gave consideration to seven new subjects of study. In April AS MU expressed its approval of the proposal to establish a new Faculty of Social Studies. In the course of the year it also confirmed the appointment of 4 new members to the MU Academic Board.
With the agreement of MU senior management, the Council was informed every three months of the administration of the university. In November, representatives of AS MU took part in a meeting which addressed the basis for the future budgeting of the university.
The Council was unable to find a solution to the proposed replacing of the title "Ing." [=engineer] with that of "Mgr." [= master] for graduates of the MU Faculty of Economics and Administration, or to the question surrounding the awarding of a Mgr. in Medical Sciences for a new masters course opened at the MU Faculty of Medicine. These issues are to be resolved by a new Higher Education Act. Conditions for the awarding of the titles of MU emeritus professor and MU visiting professor have not yet been defined in their entirety.
The performance of AS MU in 1997 is evaluated as having been very good, as was cooperation between the Council and MU senior management and between the Council and the management and councils of individual MU faculties. Shortcomings in AS MU's performance concerned low levels of attendance of council members at meetings of the Council, and this caused the Council's occasional inability to constitute a quorum.