Following its meeting on May 25, the Senate of the European Humanities University (EHU) has approved the following Statement.
EHU is a unique academic project, which has proved and continues to prove its viability in the most complicated circumstances. EHU was forced to shut down; after University’s forced immigration to Lithuania EHU was more than once predicted for an imminent end. The University entered zones of managerial and financial turbulence, experienced dramatic human resources losses. Today University has become an aim for criticism, caused by recent ineffective managerial model and actions by some of EHU leadership.
In this regard, we want to emphasize that despite all internal and external challenges, the University has always successfully coped with its major institutional task – to provide the study programs of the highest quality. We maintain commitment to our academic traditions and continue to be the only Belarusian university, free from ideology and fully integrated into European Higher Education Area. Founded by a group of Belarusian intellectuals about a quarter of a century ago, EHU continues to exist and develop, EHU academic community states its right to the university in a civilized way.
In order to proceed with aforementioned right, on May 25 EHU Senate took a decision to appeal to the EHU General Assembly of Part-Owners, EHU Governing Board, major donors and also Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania to undertake immediate actions to recover institutional stability and reputation of the University, which were put under threat as a result of serious missteps of current University leadership.
Appeal features 5 steps to be undertaken as for securing University’s sustainable development: 1. To immediately withdraw David Pollick from EHU Rector’s position; 2. To immediately withdraw EHU Governing Board Acting Chair A. Lonsdale and Deputy Chair D. Davidson; 3. To ensure participation of academic community in the new Rector selection process on a parity basis with other stakeholders; 4. To freeze the ongoing chaotic decision-making process in relation to the further destiny of the University and to introduce anti-crisis management with the participation of academic community representatives; 5. To ensure actual participation of academic community in outlining University’s budget and supervision of University budgetary expenses.
EHU Senate expresses deep gratitude to the Republic of Lithuania, all donor organisations, representatives of European and international community, who did support and maintain their support to the University with strong belief in its exceptional importance to the European development of Belarusian society. We are grateful to Belarusian civil society representatives for the concern regarding EHU’s destiny and express our openness to cooperation with one of University’s key stakeholders.
Our goal — to ensure and to broaden area of intellectual freedom, critical thinking and creating activity, which fundamentally differ EHU from any other Belarusian university. We value our special atmosphere of relationships between students and faculty, we are proud of our students’ and Alumni achievements. Their support is persuasive evidence of EHU’s importance as educational and research project and makes us genuine academic community.
Senate is a collegial decision-making body of EHU which operates on the basis of Oxbridge model of academic self-governance (all faculty of the University with workload starting from 0.75 FTE are members of the Senate, together with 5 representatives from the EHU Students’ Union).
Appeal was adopted in accordance with EHU Senate Regulations. 27 out of 51 Senate members participated in its meeting. Appeal was adopted by 51,8% of Senate members present in the meeting.