Announcement made by the Scientific-educational Council of Belgrade University in the session held on February 27, 1997

Taking into consideration the Decision of the Belgrade University Council made in the session held on January 15, 1997, under the second item on the agenda, in the situation when the mandate of the University Council has terminated, and the new Council has not been convoked after more than a month, the Scientific-educational Council of Belgrade University, aware of its responsibility for the organization and functioning of lectures at the University, has made the following decisions:

  1. Prof. Dragutin Velickovic, PhD, is not considered the Chancellor of Belgrade University any longer.
  2. Prof. Dragan Kuburovic, PhD, Vice-Chancellor of Belgrade University, will be the acting Chancellor until a new Chancellor is appointed.

The explanation of the above decisions:
As it is well known, the Student Protest at Belgrade University was provoked by the organized stealing of votes in the election held on November 17, 1996. A huge number of professors and assistants has supported the students in their struggle for elementary obeying of laws and honesty in the work of state organs, as prerequisites for the establishment of a democratic Serbia. Instead of being the first to support the students, Chancellor Dragutin Velickovic has done everything to deceive them and crush their protest. Since the beginning of the Student Protest, prof. Velickovic, PhD, has been sabotaging the work of the University by refusing to summon a session of the Scientific-educational Council, which is most competent for making decisions relevant for the organization of lectures at Belgrade University. That is why he himself has become an additional reason for the Student Protest and one of its targets. Unfortunately, he still insists on remaining the Chancellor to students, professors and assistants, to schools (27 of 30) and institutes (all 8 of them), although they refuse to accept him as their Chancellor.

The Chancellor refused to resign even when the University Council adopted the students' demands, including the one concerning his removal from the position he holds, and when the Council of Deans, managers of the institutes and members of the Scientific-educational Council (after several appeals to him to submit his resignation) informed the public that it does not consider him the Chancellor any longer and that it ceases communicating with him. He refused to resign even when Serbian Parliament, by voting for the so called lex specialis, willingly or not, de facto approved of the reaction of the students, professors and assistants to the violation of the legal order, i.e. to the falsifying of election results. What makes the Chancellor's behaviour even less comprehensible, is that he remained silent when the police brutally beat students and professors and, by bursting into the School of Philosophy, seriously violated the autonomy of the University. The sole fact that he has, by his acting or refusing to act, called into question the school year for tens of thousands of students, as well as the admission of thousands of senior secondary school students to the University - not to mention other material and spiritual losses - represents more than sufficient a reason for his emergent dismissal. Hopefully, the Chancellor and those who still have the control over his actions do not base their attitude on the premise that, instead of the Chancellor, the whole University people - students, professors and assistants - ought to be replaced!

Dismissing Chancellor Velickovic, the Scientific-educational Council informs at the same time the public and the state authorities that we shall insist upon the preservation of the autonomy of Belgrade University, as the most eminent institution of our people for a century and a half.

Remaining upright, Belgrade University is resolute not to let anyone manage it from outside on any account.

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