The Academic Senate expressed support for efforts to improve salary conditions for faculties in the humanities and also adopted a statement on the topic of sexual violence

They were reacting to current events not only at our university. You can read the full text of both statements in the article below.

27 Feb 2023

We express our solidarity with those in the humanities who are undervalued in the valuation of their work and support their efforts to remedy the current situation. At the same time, we are aware of the multifaceted and complex nature of the issue of the status and prestige of the humanities as it is dealt with within individual universities and other scientific institutions, whose autonomy must be respected in this matter. Recognizing that most of the responsibility rests with the proponents of the humanities disciplines themselves, we appeal to the representatives responsible for the state of education and research in the country to approach their evaluation and appreciation with the understanding that the humanities disciplines play a significant role in contemporary society and that their role, along with other disciplines, is important to the overall understanding of the problems in our society and their solutions. It is essential that the humanities disciplines are recognized and included in educational programs to help build a strong and sustainable society based on understanding and respect for diversity, critical thinking, and the ability to communicate effectively with people from different cultural, social, and linguistic backgrounds. These skills are essential for tackling the complex societal challenges we face today, be it climate change, social inequality, poverty, or various forms of injustice.

The social relevance of the humanities and social sciences is therefore unquestionable, not least in the current global situation. It is, therefore, shocking that the social and financial valuation of scientists in these fields is far from corresponding to this. In many respects, this also applies to Masaryk University, and therefore the Academic Senate of the Faculty of Arts joins the calls of other academic senates of philosophical faculties in the Czech Republic and supports the petition "Call for the support of the humanities and social sciences," as well as the activities of the Association of Deans of Philosophical Faculties of the Czech Republic aimed at solving the unequal salary conditions of the academic staff of philosophical faculties and demanding their equalization.

The Academic Senate of the Faculty of Arts strongly condemns any forms of coercion, violence, and discrimination that violate human dignity and integrity, and especially sexual harassment. At the same time, it expresses full solidarity with all victims of sexual harassment. However, it rejects the idea that part of the solution to this societal problem is to limit the educational tools necessary to fulfill the profile of a graduate. It also considers it unacceptable that, under the pretext of combating discrimination, existing academic freedoms, as formulated in the current version of the Higher Education Act, should be restricted, particularly the autonomy of faculties and the powers of their academic senates, including the right to elect and dismiss deans. Such a move would represent a fundamental retreat from the values on which the ethos of universities was built after 1989 as places of intellectual freedom and bastions of democracy.

The resolutions were adopted at the AS FF MU meeting on 20 February. Detailed minutes of the meeting will be available in the following days.

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