Laszlo Upor and Eszter Novak, both outgoing deputy rectors of the university, said
the university’s leadership was being forced to operate “without any relevant information or real options” at their disposal during the transition period.
Among other issues, they complained of not receiving any official notification of changes in the regulations of the SZFE’s operating body, and said their own proposals on key areas of supervision and management had been rejected out of hand, Novak said.
Autonomy is key in an effective cooperation, and the recently re-written statutes of the SZFE exclude that, they said.
Gabor Nemeth, the rector’s advisor, said the new documents
curb the university’s independence in leadership and organisational issues, in finance, economy, as well as in staffing. Academic and educational freedom are also in danger, he said.
The Innovation and Technology Ministry announced in June that the SZFE’s operations will be taken over by a foundation from Sept. 1, in line with a broader scheme under way to place certain universities under the authority of semi-private foundations. Attila Vidnyanszky, the director of the National Theatre, has been appointed to head the institution’s supervisory board, sparking protests from many teachers and students.
In an interview with public television channel M5, Vidnyanszky said disputes over the organisation and operational regulations of the university were at the root of the feud. The regulations drafted by the new management
“ensure that the necessary changes take place”, and include measures such as a new campus and the launch of international studies at the SZFE, he said.
“I thought right up to the end that we’d be able to work together,” Vidnyanszky said, referring to the university’s leadership and staff.
He noted that the innovation and technology ministry had organised a meeting on August 27, which no one from the university attended.