A Message of Thanks from the Dean Slaný

14 Oct 2020 Antonín Slaný

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Dear colleagues and friends,

I would like to share a few thoughts with you. As you all know, from November 1, a new dean will be appointed together with the new management of our Faculty. The term of office of the current management will thus reach the finale at the end of October.

I, personally (and of course not just me, but certainly all of us), would very much like this important act to take place under "normal circumstances" and in a ceremonial way: in the form of a public gathering that we would experience festively, in person, all together. However, the coronavirus epidemic has harshly affected our lives, both professionally and personally. Perhaps the most appropriate description of the current state could be the term dark times: wide uncertainty all around us and towards the future as well, limited personal contacts, online learning and more. Therefore, I have no choice but to address this – to some extent impersonal – message to you.

In a year we will celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the faculty foundation. Yes, for many - and for me personally - it sounds far too unbelievable. Thirty years of existence corresponds roughly to the duration of one human generation. It is therefore natural that in the last few years we have been going through a stage of wider generational change, which has brought significant rejuvenation in the positions of heads of departments, dean's offices and service departments. The process by which the founders gradually hand over the work to successors, most of whom naturally belong to their students, is thus completed this autumn. 

We have come a long way during the existence of the Faculty and we have created together a strong and firm work. A work that exceeds us all and for which no one will be ashamed. Such a postulate can be supported by a number of data and other measurable indicators. But let's try to rely only on what everyone may know, see and feel. It will not be an exaggeration to state that the Faculty, which we now pass on to successors, belongs within the Czech Republic to the absolute top in all important aspects: prestige, quality of teaching and research, know-how, degree of internationalization, interest in our services, selectivity, technological sophistication, overall "modernity", economic stability, and in many other respects.

The material aspect of our existence at the Faculty is also at a high level: a great and stimulating work environment, advanced technical infrastructure, decent remuneration and exemplary care for employees and especially for students.

Now I am getting to the heart of the matter. I am very well aware that everything we have achieved is a result of our joint efforts and team performance. Therefore, I would like to thank all of you, the teachers and other employees, for all the work you have done so far, and ask you not to ease up in the future. I would also like to thank all members of the management who, together with me, participated in the management of the Faculty in the last two terms of office. They have done a lot of beneficial work, often at the expense of their personal or family life.

From a broader perspective, it seems that the good condition of our Faculty is a result of a long-term process, which was continuous, but with a visible acceleration and qualitative progress in recent years.

I believe that these dark times will pass. I have recently come across an idea in a weekly magazine: We simply cannot give up. We must believe that we will beat Covid next year. Many seniors still remember times when several armies dashed through Europe, factories produced only tanks and war-damaged cities were afflicted by famine. That was a real economic catastrophe, yet our ancestors were able to recover from it. Yes, we will definitely not give up and we will overcome the current difficulties. I believe that over the next year, everything will gradually return to normal.

The new faculty management will take over in a situation which is not easy. Therefore, I would like to wish them to be successful and to further develop our Faculty. I would also like them to take care of the Faculty with ingenuity, perseverance, modernity, but also deliberation. I would like them to be aware of the enormous power of joint efforts and long-established and generally shared values.

Those familiar with conditions at universities in economic fields are well aware of the immense damage which can be caused by internal animosities, old hostilities or wrongs, as well as exaggerated power ambitions or narrow economic interests. Cooperation is always better than rivalry, and it is best to follow the motto: Gens una sumus - we are one family.

Once again – many thanks to all of you and I wish you all the best.

Antonín Slaný

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