FOLLOWING THE MASSIVE DISMISSAL OF PERSONNEL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PRIMORSKA IN KOPER, SLOVENIA, WE ASK YOU TO SUPPORT THIS PETITION sign now

FOLLOWING THE MASSIVE DISMISSAL OF PERSONNEL
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PRIMORSKA IN KOPER, SLOVENIA,
WE ASK YOU TO SUPPORT THIS

PETITION

AND EXPRESS YOUR SOLIDARITY WITH THE UNIVERSITY TEACHERS.
THE MANAGEMENT OF THE FACULTY OF HUMANITIES KOPER HAS DECIDED NOT TO EXTEND THE EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS OF ABOUT 30 TO 46 TEACHERS
(THE FACULTY MANAGEMENT REFUSES TO DISCLOSE THE FULL NUMBER).

Shortly after the neoliberal assault on the University of Middlesex, United Kingdom, where authorities arbitrarily closed down the Department of Philosophy, a similarly brutal attack on the autonomy of university and of intellectual work was executed at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Primorska in Slovenia. The logic of complete replaceability of university teachers — regardless of their scientific competences acquired during years of work — depersonalizes university teachers and transforms them into merchandise on, at least in Slovenia, the non-existent market of intellectual work. This is threatening the teachers’ basic existence.
In her letter to the Rector of the University of Primorska, Mrs Vesna Mikoliи, the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities Koper (abr. UP FH), explains the »rationalization of personnel« in the following terms: » … it is evident from the announcement of classes at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Primorska in the academic year 2010/2011 that we will have less teaching personnel in comparison with the current academic year, that is 25 teachers or around 6,9 FTE with employment contracts and 21 teachers or around 2,6 FTE with copyright contracts and work contracts (roughly 1-2 FTE per department, with the exception of the Department of Media Studies, where a further reduction of personnel was not possible due to the already minimal number of teachers). It is expected that this rationalization of the teaching process will diminish working costs by approximately 330,000 Euros. «
Although the exact number of teaching personnel that will remain without employment beginning with October 1st 2010 has so far not been disclosed — the faculty management is refusing to make public the full list of discharged teachers by referring to »protection of personal data« (it is clear, however, that the figure amounts to about a third of the whole current faculty) — we strongly object to the dismissal of the teaching personnel and to the associated purge. Namely, among those being made redundant despite having consistently received the highest student evaluation notes, many are being punished for their objection to previous persecutions of their colleagues (e. g. in 2009) and to the substitution of the disciplinarily coherent programs of studies by commercially oriented ones. Some of the programs in question are doomed to the same destiny as the philosophy department at Middlesex.
At the Department of Anthropology (Head of Department – Mr Lenart kof) and the Department of History (Head of Department – Mr Pirjevec; Deputy Head – Mr Darko Darovec) the teachers’ dismissal was kept secret by the superiors until the very last moment (some of the teachers were still presenting their prospective subjects at university open day). According to law, teachers have the right to a full-time working post after two years of precarious contracts — this, however, was not respected at UP FH. At least four of the dismissed teaching staff were among those whose rights were thus violated despite their permanent work at the Faculty of Humanities: Dr Sabina . nidariи, Dr Taja Kramberger, Assist Eva Brajkoviи and Assist Toma Gregorc. Both of the above mentioned departments are losing university teachers that over the past decade have developed and introduced subjects and topics unknown at other universities in Slovenia. During the past years, these teachers have publicly and with good reason opposed the authoritarian acts of the FH management (in 2009 the management fired a highly respected linguist, Dr Igor agar; the teachers driven out today sharply opposed this in a petition that proved to be the prelude to what is currently happening). The four mentioned colleagues are among the most competent, autonomous and estimated teachers, who have received the highest student evaluations over the the past years. It is because of this that the students of the UP FH stood up energetically and publicly in their defense, to which the FH responded by a slanderous campaign.
As we believe that the grave situation at UP FH is not only an internal matter but rather a hallmark of the total transformation of university as a public institution, in the process of which workers are becoming toys in the hands of academic entrepreneurs who can freely dispose of »human resources«, and as the national legislation itself is being quickly adapted to enable this, it is necessary for us to act promptly. Although the massive dismissal of academic staff occurred in a small provincial town, this makes it all the more pertinent. As a socially structured entity, province clearly exposes the aberrations of dominant ideological forces, especially in its complete absence of self-reflexivity, as well as by its unreserved adoption of external models and the lack of any resistance to the adaptation to prevailing conjunctures.
By signing our petition we ask you to express your solidarity with the university teachers who were illicitly dismissed from the Faculty of Humanities Koper, and to back the efforts of university teachers in their fight for elementary rights to work and respect of effort invested in the development of scientific disciplines.

Koper-Capodistria, 3rd July 2010

More on blog:
http://resimouniverzo.blogspot.com/

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