Forum Digest II/Infoforum

The Evaluation of Charles University

In the second half of 1994 and early in 1995 an extensive data collection was carried out at CU faculties under the working (and inaccurate) title "CU Evaluation". Its main objective was to ascertain the real state of the faculties - a certain thorough stock-taking. The new social conditions became the starting point, changing not only the behaviour of the University, but in many respects, its activity. The set assignment could be formulated simply as answering two basic questions: what is done in the faculties? and how is it done? judged from the point of view of main activities, i.e. tuition and specialist activity. For this purpose a review committee was chosen in a rather complicated way, so that practically all possible activities of each CU faculty in given fields were dealt with.

In the introduction it must be noted that evaluation of such extent was undertaken for the first time, and that the experience of other universities and institutions was useful in preparing it, although adopting the whole procedure from one source was neither possible nor efficient. Criticism and worries arriving from the side of the faculties were thus understandable and for the most part justified. After the first embarrassments and clarification of basic problems, which were mainly of a technical character, and in the course of continuously removing drawbacks, completion and clearing of data and their classification and processing was achieved. The resulting material was based on factual realities, offering the basis for a search for correlations of various kinds as well as a platform for the faculties' administration, and for decision making on more effective source usage. Similarly important was the need for factual argumentation by the CU administration in discussions with state representatives on the topic of conceiving the state - universities relationship.

Seven working groups were formed for drawing-up the reports on individual faculties. Each group judged the state of at least two related faculties, for possible comparison. The working groups always comprised one competent worker of the faculty as well as experts from the given field operating outside CU. The individuals within the groups consisted of 27% from Academy of Science institutes, 48% from other universities and 25% from other institutions. These groups received a package of material concerning faculties under evaluation with the possibility of proposing its further elaboration. However, the basis of information was provided from the meetings of the working groups with faculty administration and discussions with academic officials. By July 1995 reports on the state of faculties were created (with two exceptions) and submitted for expert opinion to the administration of appropriate faculties and CU administration. It must be noted that even though the "depth" of analysis of each working group varied to some extent, the reports presents valuable material for both the faculties and CU administration for further strategical decisions.

During the holiday period the acquired material was revised into indicators mutually comparable for all faculties without exception. The update, together with all working groups' reports, was then delivered to all CU deans. The deans and CU administration met over the material for a two-day session. Discussions were carried out in several topic fields, connected with the principle of strict factuality. All concentrated on the well-meaning main objective - that of analyzing the resources of individual faculties or contrasting them with others. This will ultimately contribute to effective decision-making in carrying out those strategic goals set by CU bodies.

A further notable result will be the report on CU. The draft will be prepared by CU administration on the basis of actual negotiations. This version of the report will first be discussed and then approved by the deans within the framework of the collegia. Then the report will be provided for faculty Academic Senates, Academic Boards and the CU Academic Senate. After debates within these bodies, the final report should be presented to the public outside the academia in the beginning of this year.

Doc. Ing. Ivan Wilhelm, CSc.,
Pro-Rector for Development of Charles University

Charles University has established a direct academic cooperation with the University of Bonn
(Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn)

In the end of June a Contract on University Cooperation was signed ceremonially by the Rector of Charles University, Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc. and the Rector of Bonn University Prof. dr. Max Huber. It is the nineteenth partner contract concluded between CU and German universities.

Part of the contract is a working program for 1996, which includes concrete academic cooperation in the fields of law, mathematics, theology, Islamic studies, Indian and Czech studies. Both sides will strive to provide student grants and the annual exchange of two students for summer courses - The Summer Course of German in Bonn and The Summer School of Slavonic Studies at Philosophical Faculty in Prague.

Moreover, Bonn University will try to ensure one to two postgraduate stipends a year in the Transatlantic Summer-Academy - TASA in Bonn, and in an environmental summer course at Bonn-Julich Research Centre.

Department of International Relations, RCU

Photo for Forum: Jan Smit


(Sasakawa Young Leaders Program)

During the ceremonial meeting on 13 June, the President of Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Mr. Johei Sasakawa gave the Rector of CU a receipt on a down payment for the SYLFF grants at the Deutsche Bank, Singapore. The program was set up on the basis of the grant from Sasakawa Peace Foundation. One million USD was paid as capital, and the interests will be offered for both home and foreign grants designed for students in magisterial and postgraduate studies (gradually 4-10 a year). The program should enable long-term and short-term study stays abroad, and within the framework of the so-called home grants, it is also meant to be used for student exchange. It is intended for perspective students of social sciences, especially from the Faculties of Science, Philosophy, Social Sciences and Education. The selection of candidates was started in September 1995. Among the three approved fields are: law and international relations, economics and creation of economic policy, ethnic and socio-economic relations.

Commemoration of Jan Palach

Jan Palach, student of the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University, was commemorated on 16 January 1996, the day of his autodafe (1969), with flowers laid to the sculpture of St. Wenceslas by the representatives of CU administration: Pro-Rector, Prof. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc. and Questor, Ing. Josef Kubicek. Flowers were presented also by the Dean of the CU Philosophical Faculty, Doc. PhDr. Frantisek Vrhel, CSc., Pro-Dean, Prof. PhDr. Marie Konigova, CSc., Pro-Dean, Doc. PhDr. Jan Kuklik, CSc., and the student representative, Jan Boris Uhlir. On Saturday 19 January 1996 the CU Rector, Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc., and Pro-Rectors, Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc. and Prof. PhDr. Petr Blahus, DrSc., took part in a commemoration act at the grave of Jan Palach in his native village, Vsetaty.


Foundation for Democratic Legal State and Charles University

In September last year two major documents were ceremonially signed in the reception rooms of the Karolinum. The Rector of Charles University, Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc., concluded an agreement on academic cooperation with the newly established Foundation for a Democratic Legal State, represented by the foremost Prague entrepreneur Vilem Petrik and the editor Karel Stanek. The cooperation is also symbolized by the Rector of Charles University being the vice-president of the Foundation. In its board of trustees we can find Anna Roschova, Ing. Tomas Jezek, CR parliament deputy Ing. Frantisek Franc, Stock Exchange General Secretary and the Law Faculty Dean, JUDr. Dusan Hendrych. A sort of "brain trust" of the foundation is headed by professor Vaclav Belohradsky. The aim of the collaboration between the foundation and the University is to bridge the intellectual potential as expressed in the statutory declaration of the foundation, the objective of which is: " contribute to the development of the Czech Republic as a democratic legal state, especially in enforcing human rights, perfecting and keeping the legal code in the fields of both private and public law, and for enhancing its knowledge." It is predominantly the Faculty of Law that can cooperate with the foundation in such tasks. The transformation of our state and its legal code, however, also requires experts and students from Faculties of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Education. The first concrete expression of the collaboration became the agreement on establishing the special Prize of the Rector of Charles University for contributions to the building of a legal state in the Czech Republic. The Rector will award the prize, amounting to 100,000 Czech crowns, at the recommendation of a special committee, to regular and doctoral students of the humanities for works on the problems of building the democratic legal state. The prize was awarded for the first time on 17 November 1995. Factors, considered by the award committee, are expert level, original approach, treatment and topic. Detailed information can be obtained from study pro-deans or the secretariat of the Rector.

In the conclusion of the ceremonial act, the Rector Prof. Karel Maly and the Foundation founder Mr. Vilem Petrik expressed their belief that the collaboration of both institutions on concrete projects will contribute to the building of the legal state in a substantial way.

JUDr. Jan Kuklik,
Head of the Rector's Office

Presentation and Prizes

The CU Academic Board, held 30 November 1995 had a celebratory character. To begin with, the CU Rector, Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc., presented the first part of a four-volume project The History of Charles University. The CU Rector called the day "one of our joyous moments, awaited by whole generations..."

Then the CU Rector Awards for the best CU graduates were announced (established by the Creed on CU Rector Awards 26 May 1995). This award can be annually obtained by one magisterial graduate in all eligible fields - the prize is worth 10,000 Czech crowns.

The Prof. JUDr. Karel Englis Prize for the best graduates of the humanities was won by Mgr. Barbora Kralova (Philosophical Faculty, CU).

The Prof. RNDr. Jaroslav Heyrovsky Prize for the best science graduates went to Mgr. Petr Stepnicka (Faculty of Science, CU).

Of the four candidates for the Josef Dobrovsky Prize for the best theology graduates, Mgr. Helena Wernischova was selected (Evangelical Theological Faculty, CU).

The Prize of Prof. PhDr. Vaclav Prihoda for the best graduates of teacher training was awarded to Mgr. Jana Kohoutkova (Pedagogical Faculty, CU).

With five candidates to choose from, the committee of representatives of the five CU Medical Faculties decided to present the Prize of Prof. MUDr. Karel Weigner for the best graduates of medical studies to MUDr. Kamila Krizanova (nee Stuchlova) (Faculty of Medicine, CU, Pilsen).

All award-winning graduates are shown in our photo right before receiving their prizes from the CU Rector, Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc.

During the Academic Board meeting the Prizes of the Foundation for a Democratic Legal State, funded by the major Prague entrepreneur, Vilem Petrik) were also awarded. This prize - totaling 100,000 Czech crowns - can be won by humanities students of regular and doctorale studies for work in the field of building a democratic legal state. This time all the prizes went to the Faculty of Law (dissertations by Dr. Jitka Balikova, Mgr. Petr Kubes, Dr. Vladimir Lanzhotsky, Mgr. Leos Materna, JUDr. Josef Salac, Mgr. Jiri Strincl and Mgr. Marie Nemeckova). One of the prizes went to Zdenek Khun for his seminary work. In our photo, Milada Litochlebova is receiving her prize from Vilem Petrik for her outstanding diploma thesis on Commercial Reputation, Conception of Legal Amendment and Protection.


Specifying the Agreement

(National Taiwan University and Charles University)

Specific agreement of areas of academic cooperation between National Taiwan University and Charles University was the topic of negotiations between administrators from both universities. The talks took place 15-18 October 1995 in Prague.

Representatives of National Taiwan University - Rector Wei-Jao Chen, Prof. Han-Liang Chang (IPLO director) and Prof. Ruey-Shiung Lin (Dean of the Faculty of Public Health) led discussions with CU representatives, headed by the CU Rector Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly. DrSc., relating to practicalities in reaching the objectives set by the agreement on cooperation and academic and pedagogical exchange signed 2 May 1995 in Taipei, Taiwan.

During the visit the Taiwanese delegation met representatives of individual CU faculties, departments and academic teams, who presented specific proposals for cooperation. These talks defined specific areas for joint projects, exchange of pedagogical and academic workers and students, postgraduate stays, information and literature exchange, mutual participation in conferences and seminars, including joint organization of such events.

Photo for Forum: Martin Bartunek

The Coimbra Group and Charles University

The Coimbra Group was established at the initiative of Louvain University, which invited centers of traditional university learning of the world to collaborate with each other. From the beginning the endeavours of the Coimbra Group have aimed at establishing international cultural academic relations and defining common areas of interest.

The Coimbra Group Charter was signed September 1987 in Pavia and among the founding members of this association were universities from the following cities: Leuven, Louvain, Aarhus, Caen, Poitiers, Gottingen, Heidelberg, Wurzburg. Thessaloniki, Galway, Trinity Dublin, Bologna, Pavia, Siena, Leiden, Coimbra, Granada, Salamanca, Edinburgh and Oxford.

Once established, the integration network began building specific academic and cultural relations and state-of-the-art channels enabling information exchange. Among the priorities of the Coimbra Group remain the realization and support of student and pedagogical exchanges, free studies for all students, accepted by universities, the establishment of common programs for fast mobility, support for cultural and sport activities and the creation of broader possibilities for non-European students. At least one representative of member universities should be at the administrative committee. By 1991 the Association was joined by the universities of Barcelona, Bristol, Groningen and Cambridge and in 1991 universities from Budapest, Jena, Cracow, Montpellier (I,II,III), Uppsala and Prague - Charles University also became members. In 1995 other universities joined: Basel, Bergen, Gottingen, Graz and Turku-Abo. Among the projects of the organization, Erasmus is developing in a promising way and there is the hope that member countries could also join in. Erasmus devoted particular interest to the innovation of educational systems (the Humanities program), while Alfa is concentrated on Latin America. Important possibilities have been created for us in developing the system of classification credits transfer within the European Union (ECTS). Another interesting program of the Coimbra Group is Lectures (visits by leading specialists of member universities who give specific lectures). Last year was marked by an event of great importance for Charles University - Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc., Pro-Rector for Foreign Affairs, became a member of the Coimbra Group administrative committee.

For an entire decade the Simons Foundation has worked with the objective of assisting projects "enriching the quality of life on our planet - today and in the future". The President of the Foundation, Dr. Jennifer Allen Simons started to establish contacts between her organization and Charles University shortly after November 1989. The first step was signing of an agreement on cooperation between Simons Foundation and Charles University, the CU Centre for Theoretical Studies and Academy of Sciences. Dr. Simons was of course present at the opening of the new rooms of CTS in Jilska (in spring last year). At the end of October 1995 she was received at the Karolinum by Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc., Pro-Rector for Foreign Affairs (in our photo on the very right). Together with him at the meeting was Doc. Ing. Ivan Havel, Director of the CU CTS.

Photo for Forum: Michaela Vlckova

Looking Back at a Cycle of Lectures

Six Talks on Relations between Neighbouring Countries, organized by Charles University in cooperation with Bertelsmann A.G., were delivered in the course of the 1995 calendar year at the Karolinum in Prague. The cycle of lectures was introduced by a speech of Vaclav Havel (delivered 17 February 1995). This came on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and in his speech President Havel called for public, open and factual discussion on Czech-German relations.

In recent months, Dr. Antje Vollmer, vice-chairwoman of the Bundestag, also appeared at the University and the fifth lecture was presented by Ing. Josef Zieleniec on 16 November 1995 (Czechs and Germans - Neighbours in a Uniting Europe). The photograph of Michaela Vlckova shows him with Dr. Antje Vollmer in the Small Hall. The group of lectures culminated in mid-December last year with a speech by the former German President Dr. Richard von Weizsacker (more on the other place). Several hours before this important occasion, a press conference, arranged by Charles University and Bertelsmann A.G. was held to evaluate the results of the cycle. Key speeches dealing with Czech-German relations from various points of view, historical, contemporary and future, were heard on academic ground. All of the talks on good relations between neighbouring countries were held in the spirit of an endeavour to find common interests, identify controversial questions in history and find ways of solving them. The whole range of problems was presented against a pan-European background, and both sides produced far-reaching and positive proposals, bridging the scenes of the past. The initiative of Charles University for the improvement of Czech-German relations did not, however, end with the last speech. Now the discussions will move to university lecture halls and seminars.

In our photo from the left: Prof. Dr. Theo Schafer, Head of the Cultural Department and Public Relations, Prof. Manfred Lahnstein, Bertelsmann A.G. trustee board member, Dr. Michaela Zindelova, Head of the CU Public Relations, CU Rector Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc., Prof. PhDr Jaroslav Vacek, CSc., Pro-Rector for Foreign Affairs and JUDr. Jan Kuklik, Head of the Rector's Office.

Photo: Michaela Vlckova and Michaela Zindelova

During his stay in Prague in 21-22 November 1995, the prestigious Prize of Charles IV was awarded to Professor Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker, a scientist of worldwide importance in the fields of astrophysics and quantum physics. The Mayor of the City of Prague, Jan Koukal, presented the prize for the second time, and this year the candidate was selected from 25 laureates from around the world. In our photo, Prof. Dr. Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker is in conversation with the Mayor of Prague, Jan Koukal, in the Brozik Hall of the Old Town Hall, shortly after accepting from him and the CU Rector Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc. the international Prize of Charles IV.

Photo for Forum: Jan Smit

Agreement on Academic Cooperation

Prof. Francois Monnier, the President of the Parisian Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, and Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc., CU Pro-Rector, signed on 24 October 1995 an agreement on academic cooperation, reinforcing current contacts between the EPHE section of history and philology and the CU Philosophical Faculty, predominantly in the fields of Oriental studies, Greek and Latin studies, Roman studies, music studies, archaeology and history of art. In the opening phase, the mutual cooperation will comprise mostly the exchange of academics and students. Special emphasis will be placed on enabling the implementation of "double supervision" of dissertations with the subsequent mutual recognition of doctoral degrees. It also expects the organization of joint colloquia, seminars and lectures, and the realization of academic projects.

A Gift from the Netherlands

The Czech Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and a former CU Pro-Rector, Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Mihule, CSc., who personally accompanied a gift for Czech schools, was received by the CU Rector Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc. in the second half of November.

The first part of the gift (co-initiated by the CU Pro-Rector for Foreign Affairs, Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Vacek, CSc.) - more than 400 books from the estate of the world renowned Indologist Ian Gonda of Utrecht University - was presented to the Institute of Indian Studies of Philosophical Faculty CU, by the executor of the estate, Prof. Henk Bodewitz.

The second part of the gift from Dutch friends to the Czech Republic - 50 computers, monitors, keyboards including software and discs - was donated to the Foundation School - Workshop of Humanity. Its aim is to open up our education to new trends in pedagogics.


Integration is the Solution

Czech-German relations were described as wholly positive by the German Minister of Transport, member of the Bundes CDU Presidium Matthias Wissmann, who delivered his lecture on Europe before Global Economic Challenges in the Patriotic Hall on 17 November 1995. European dimensions are changing along with distances between individual states, he remarked in his address about our joining the states of the European Union. The Czech Republic ranks in the building of market economies among the most developed countries of Central and East Europe, and its location means that the main rail links, road routes, waterways would cross its territory: "Smaller states cannot compete, but they should arrive at the only sensible solution: coalescence and real integration..."

Immediately after his speech at CU we asked him how he felt in Prague:

"I am in Prague for the first time, but the historical conscience of continuity places it among the cities which will be of utmost importance for European dimensions. It is a wonderful city with an atmosphere reminiscent of Florence, Venice, or Rome. Regarding cooperation in transport, I believe it will become also the cultural center of Europe."


Of great interest was the lecture by Mr. Matthias Wissmann, welcomed in our photo by the CU Rector Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc. (to the right of the CU Rector is Matthias Wissmann and the director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Mr. Reinard Stuth).

Photo for Forum: Michaela Zindelova

Press Conference Full of Questions

"Charles University transcends in its dimension the context of the Czech Republic, and its 650th anniversary will certainly become a major cultural event whose significance is not only European. Our celebrations should also achieve these dimensions, but so far it means a year and a half of hard work for us", said the CU Rector Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc., in his address at the press conference held in the Small Hall of the Karolinum 30 October 1995, on the occasion of the beginning of the academic year.

Journalists did not only limit their questions to the muchdiscussed topic of university fees. The course of the press conference demonstrated a wider interest in Charles University. The participating Pro-Rectors also took the floor in answering questions connected with the problems of CU self-evaluation, prestige, accreditation committees, the exhibitions which are being prepared from the Karolinum art collection (including a unique collection of rectors' portraits dating back to 17th century. Karolinum will be temporarily opened for graduation ceremonies in summer 1996, though autumn events will be held elsewhere. Bachelors will receive their degrees at the CU Faculty of Law, honorary graduations and doctorates will be held - by agreement with the Mayor of the City of Prague - at the Brozik Hall of the Old Town Hall. Other spaces will be used, including the Bethlehem Chapel and Zofin. Other interesting questions asked by journalists concerned the existence of a respectable student representation, and also "entrance-exam trekking across the country" by applicants for university studies.


The Premiera television channel broadcast scenes from the press conference on the afternoon of the day it was held. In our photo, the CU Rector prepares to be interview by the presenter Karla Kacerova.

Photo for Forum: Michaela Zindelova

On 7 April 1348, the King of Bohemia and King of the Romans, Charles IV, established in Prague, the city of his seat, a general seat of learning, taking into his protection scholars, masters and students, and promising them material support. The sovereign bestowed upon the new university the same privileges as were enjoyed at the Universities of Paris and Bologna, above all, legal protection. The founding charter of Prague University is one of the principal documents of the first volume of the History of Charles University - issued by the chancellery of the King in two originals, written in Latin on parchment. The university's copy, with a golden bull as a seal, was kept in the Karolinum in Prague until 1945, when the Nazi custodians of the university removed it. It is missing to this day. The second copy of the founding charter, to which is attached the sovereign's wax seal of majesty, is deposited in the Archive of the Prague Metropolitan Diocese.

The press conference at the end of November 1995 was attended by some thirty journalists and several representatives of TV networks. The first of the planned four volumes of the History of the Charles University (to be published by 1998) was presented to the public by the Rector of Charles University. On our photo from the right: Mgr. Eva Krumpolcova, Head of the Publicity Department, the Czech Savings Bank (sponsor of the introductory volume of the project), Dr. Michal Svatos, CSc., the Head of the Charles University Institute of History and editor of the first volume, Dr. Michaela Zindelova, Head of Public Relations of Charles University, Prof. JUDr. Karel Maly, DrSc., Charles University Rector, Prof. Dr. Josef Petran, Director of the Institute of History of Charles University - CU Archive.

Photo for Forum: Michaela Vlckova

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