EHU academic staff elected a new Senate on November 19. The Senate, which consists of 21 persons, is composed of elected or appointed faculty members and student representatives and also includes the rector of the University ex officio. According to EHU's Statute, the Senate is responsible for ensuring academic quality. It is represented by its chairman on the University's Governing Board, which is responsible for the overall governance of the University.
EHU Rector Anatoli Mikhailov says he is hoping for constructive cooperation with the newly-elected Senate:
“Our Senate is an important part of EHU's system of governance, particularly as concerns academic quality. We understand that elections can inspire heated debate. Various proposals advanced by candidates and their supporters show that we are not indifferent to the future of our University. Now, we must all sit down at the table and proceed constructively with the task before us—improving the quality of teaching and research at EHU.”
A majority of the new Senate consists of faculty representatives who recently signed a declaration "For a New EHU". The declaration criticized the current administration of the University and proposed reforms that signatories consider key to renewing and improving the University.
Meanwhile, the Rector has also proposed a plan of action. This includes a competitive hiring process to select faculty for a number of permanent core faculty positions. These will include improved working conditions, but will require residency in Vilnius. The proposal has met with stiff resistance among some faculty who feel the Rector's plan disregards the sacrifices they have made for the University and the difficulties of relocation to Lithuania. Most EHU faculty currently reside in Belarus.
The Rector has stated that he will seek the Senate's approval for his plan, which he considers essential to guaranteeing quality at EHU. The newly elected Senate must hold its first meeting no later than seven working days after the announcement of election results.
Additionally, one member of the Senate will be appointed by the Rector. A research center representative and student representatives will be named within five working days after the announcement of election results.
Click here to see the protocol with the list of elected Senate members.