Acting Chair of the European Humanities University (EHU) Governing Board, Ms. Anne Lonsdale, announced that Prof. G. David Pollick will be concluding his term as Rector in late summer. Ms. Lonsdale noted that in November 2015, the then Chair of the Board, Prof. Daniel Tarschys received from Prof. Pollick confirmation of his intention to complete his original two-year commitment as planned, thus departing EHU in the Spring of 2016.
At the request of the Executive Committee of the Board, however, Prof. Pollick has graciously agreed to continue through the current academic year in order to see to the completion of the strategic planning process and the development of a new Core Curriculum and to provide the opportunity for a professional international search process to identify the next Rector. The Board is deeply appreciative of Prof. Pollick’s willingness to assist the EHU community at this important time.
Anne Lonsdale said: “It has always been clear to us on the Board that Prof. Pollick had intended to be with us for two years only. I am so grateful that he has agreed to stay longer to help us cover the period before a new Rector can be in post. We laid some heavy responsibilities on him to create and implement a strategic plan while simultaneously achieving a major downsizing of the University in response to declining student numbers in the region and the need for heightened cost effectiveness. This is an extraordinarily difficult management task, but through his outstanding academic leadership and the very positive support of his EHU colleagues, it is on line to be completed before he leaves us in summer 2016. We are very much in David’s debt for his tireless work for the University and wish him the very best for his next adventure.”
Rector Prof. Pollick replies, "It truly has been my pleasure and honor to work alongside and behalf of so many persons dedicated to securing and advancing the original values of the European Humanities University at such a critical time in its young history. President Prof. Anatoli Mikhailov's vision for a European democratic education for his home country of Belarus, as well as his special friendship, has been inspiring and dear to me personally. I return to America with an even greater sense of the timeliness, urgency and importance of EHU's mission as the values of truth and freedom remain under continued assault from multiple directions within the region. I will return to my home with only the best wishes and greatest hope that these stalwart individuals of strength and good character will continue in their efforts to resist the ignorance and self-interest of those that will always threaten the promise of individual, political and societal change through genuine education."
Notes to Editors:
Prof. Pollick came to EHU first in March 2014 as a consultant and later became a candidate for the vacant post of Rector created when Professor Anatoli Mikhailov was named as University President in 2014. The Board had declared its requirements for the post to be, above all, experience of university management at a senior level. In addition to his academic qualifications, it was clear that Prof. Pollick already had a track record of leadership experience at EHU as well as a history of presidential leadership roles at U.S. universities and colleges which made him the outstanding candidate. He never changed his intention to work for two years in Vilnius and confirmed that intention again to the Chairman of the Board in November 2015. He has kindly agreed to stay into the summer to assist the University while a search for a new Rector is underway.
Since his arrival he has achieved the following tasks with which he was charged by the Board:
implementing the University’s legal labor transition to Lithuania;
successful university reaccreditation;
revised university Statutes;
new participatory governance structure;
new participatory budgetary process;
outsourced IT services;
budgetary reductions exceeding over 25% of operations;
engaged in five (5) audits of University finances and procedures.
Most recently he has collaboratively developed a new institutional Strategic Plan and a new Core Curriculum.
EHU is now preparing to look to its future role in service of Belarus and Eastern Europe. It must begin with an open and international search for its next Rector. Our new relationship with Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, which replaces Nordic Council of Ministers in oversight of the Trust Fund, means that they have an important role in these decisions. They require us to use a search firm for this purpose which they will identify. The search will begin from the end of May and will, we hope, conclude with the selection of a final candidate by the Governing Board of EHU in September 2016, so that a new Rector can be in place early in the next academic year.