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Maxim Zhbankov: Dictatorship in EHU not better Lukashenka's one

13:59, — Society

Maxim Zhbankov: Dictatorship in EHU not better Lukashenka's one

EHU employees are confident that the university continues to cut staff.

Maxim Zhbankov, a member of the Senate and an associate professor in EHU (European Humanities University), commented on the administration's statement on starting a procedure of inviting applications for vacancies of lecturers. The statement also says the Senate of hinders the process and accuses representatives of the Senate of casting aspersions on the leadership and the university governing bodies as well as of manipulating and intimidating students, Radio Svaboda reports.

Maxim Zhbankov thinks the statement, manipulative by nature, misinterprets the facts.

It reads, he notes, that 'a group of academic staff members were using their posts in the Senate to hinder the open competition procedure'. But the majority of the democratic Senate is not a group of academic staff members. We obtained our seats in the Senate as a result of a democratic election procedure. It follows that we represent the interests of the majority of EHU staff members. It's convenient for the administration to represent us in the media as a small group. In actual fact, it is mass discontent over the course carried out by the administration.

As for the open competition for vacancies, the procedure should be prepared by the Senate, according to the EHU Statute.

What we have in practice is that the Senate has been cut out of the process. Decisions are being made by the administration. It offers us to join the reforms. So, if the administration writes it 'offered the Senate to contribute to the process', it's not entirely true. The administration offered us to take part in the process that was planned by the administration on its conditions. Of course, we don't agree with it, because it violates the rules of the university, Zhbankov explains.

Zhbankov confirms that EHU staff members are sure the dismissal of Pavel Tereshkovich paves the way for further dismissals to make the university free of Belarusian teachers.

We are in the situation when the administration doesn't try to hide staff cuts that will affect mainly Belarusians. This intention comes from the administration. We just speak loudly about these intentions. It's not defamation, as the administration writes in its statement. They also claim we deliver ultimatums to the governing bodies and threaten to go on strike. Actually, it's misinterpretation too. Vice Rectors Bernardas Gailius and Aliaksandr Kalbaska faced a no confidence motion. Rector Anatoli Mikhailov was offered an honorable resignation. It's a mark of respect for his achievements and a sign that the current situation is catastrophic. It's not an ultimatum. It just denotes the particular situation.

The Senate member thinks it is representatives of the administration who threaten and intimidate. They scare lecturers with dismissals and students with cutting off funding to the university due to protest actions.

Tatsiana Chulitskaya, a lecturer at the department of social and political sciences, received an unambiguous warning from her boss Virgis Valentinavičius. Students say they also hear threats regarding their possible participation in actions to support the Senate. We know they prepare to fire another portion of rebel staff members. I know that I am on the list. This is what is called intimidation. Today's EHU is the administrative dictatorship. In essence, it is not better than Lukashenka's dictatorship.

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