Associate Professors and a Professor Qualify for their Titles Online

Bratislava, 22 May 2020: Life at Comenius University continues despite the coronavirus crisis. It has simply moved online. In addition to teaching, the meetings of academic bodies are also being held remotely. Last week, the first online habilitations and inaugurations took place at the Faculty of Law of Comenius University. These are the processes of being evaluated for the titles of Associate Professor and Professor.

23. 05. 2020 17.53 hod.
By: CU Public Relations Office

Inaugural lectures are normally held at meetings of the scientific board of the faculty. Successful candidates then face a defence before the university’s scientific board. The habilitation lecture and thesis defence take place in front of members of the scientific board of the faculty, which then approves proposals for the title of associate professor to be awarded. These processes were held according to the legal and internal regulations of Comenius University with the one change being that the members of the board and the relevant committees met the reviewers and the candidates in a virtual space.

Last week, the Faculty of Law completed the process of defence for four associate professors (specializing in administrative law, Roman law, and the theory and history of the state and law) and one professor (specializing in commercial and financial law). The continuous appointment of new associate professors and professors is important for the successful functioning of the university. “If we want to maintain our classic and modern legal departments in the European area under strict standards and thus keep up with European trends, we must constantly strive to improve,” says the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Eduard Burda.

From a technical point of view, the priority was to ensure the successful process of online voting, which has to be secret but which also requires registration so that only authorized people can vote and do so once only. Meeting remotely brings many benefits, including the fact that international experts do not have to travel. Thanks to the online format, committee members from the Czech Republic could easily attend these meetings. The dean has praised the time-saving benefits of the new format and the higher participation than is normally seen at these events.

“Despite the current relaxation of measures, I think that the best solution in the coming months is to hold meetings in this way. This is also due to the fact that the most experienced experts, who in terms of age are in the most vulnerable group for coronavirus, tend to be committee members,” the dean said. He would like online meetings to become a regular part of university life after the end of the pandemic.

“The crisis caused by the novel coronavirus has forced us to improvise and transfer all our processes to an online environment in an extremely short time. Following lectures, tests, state exams, and regular meetings of academic bodies, we have now tried a meeting of the Scientific Board online for the first time,” said the Rector of Comenius University, Marek Števček. “Comenius University has been able to adapt quickly. We will certainly use some of what we have learned online in the future as well. For one thing, the remote presence of international experts at lectures or on scientific boards can significantly enrich our academic work. At present, however, we are mainly preparing to return to normal operations. We are very much looking forward to that, because lectures onsite and face-to-face academic discussion are the basis of university education,” the rector added.

Several other remote habilitations and inaugurations are being prepared by the Faculty of Law for July, and this form of evaluation will also be used by their colleagues at the Faculty of Education in June. However, the meetings of the university’s Scientific Board and Academic Senate should already be able to take place onsite in the spirit of the best academic traditions.