Veni, vidi, vici
It can easily be said that the yesterday's session of the University Council was a real treat for the reporters, but a rather bitter pill for all those who believe in the academic level of this institution.
The session was first presided over by Professor Tomislav Dragovic, phd, who was appointed by the resigning Chancellor, mister Velickovic, to perform his duties until the election of a new Chancellor at the session scheduled for March 19th 1997. He was soon replaced by Mr. Budislav Tatic (one of the representatives of the Government), the oldest member of the Council - in keeping with the operating procedure. It was soon uncovered who the real boss is, because after the intervention of Nada Popovic - Perisic, the agenda of the meeting was immediately changed and unanimously accepted by the presiding officer (him and himself). The agenda was composed of the following items:
Although a persistent group of students was soaking in the rain and freezing before the Chancellor's Office, the Council discussed (and respited) the first item on the agenda for almost three hours. The administrative irregularities in the election of the representatives from the Schools of Forestry and Civil Engineering weakened the delegates of the University by two votes. In the atmosphere of general intolerance between the representatives of the Government and of the University, mister Tatic made a short and meaningless speech, congratulating the members of the Council, with a comment that he wishes them "a long life, happy old days and a deserved pension", like the one he has.
The second item of the agenda lead to the longest and heaviest discussion. No matter how unimportant the positions of the President and the Deputy President of the Council may seem to us, ordinary mortals, they were the cause to the main fight, which was formally won by the Government representatives; however, the University delegates took the more appealing (but in this country, insignificant!), moral victory. Professor Milan Kurepa backed his nomination with ethical reasons, while Mr. Momcilo Babic added that the same goes for him (?!). Professor Nenad Grujic, candidate for the President Deputy, accepted to be nominated only if the President of the Council was elected from the University. Professor Lucic, angry with the development of the situation, took the speaker's platform, and told the Government representatives: "Can anybody place a bet with me, let's lay the money on the table that I know who the President of the Council will be? You spoke about the biological environment, horizontal and vertical research, generation gaps, constellations... Were you mocking us or proposing your candidate?" But despite the justified aggravation of the members of the University Council and their effort to get Professor Kurepa the attention he deserves, the voting (it was insisted that it be secret, to avoid the repetition of the situation from the meeting of the Council from January 15th) showed that it is not good people and experts who are required to hold the influential positions, but rather those who obey orders. Professor Kurepa commented this with the following words: "They are right. I never followed anybody's commands." Professor Lucic addressed the freshly elected President, giving him an advice: "Mr. Babic, if you are wise, you had better resign permanently at once!"
The issue that was of greatest importance for us, students, which kept us on the streets for four months, went by completely unnoticed. The representatives of the Government, as if they were not interested, as if it were never their affair, decided only to affirm the resignation of Mr. Velickovic from his function. Mr. Babic, rudely persistent, refused to allow all the members of the Council who had something to say about the now already former Chancellor, speak (which is their right), thus dangerously heating up the situation. Any discussion about his responsibility or the consequences that he, as the main culprit for the tempestuous events at the University, should bear, was completely out of the question. Professor Tucic tried to point out that you can't just go over 118 days of the Protest and over the fact that the police broke in to the School of Philosophy by simply dissolving Velickovic, without any debate about his responsibility. Gordana Matic, phd, addressed Mr. Babic personally from the speaker's platform, stressing that he is not a man of the University and that the University should be governed by its own people, and reminded the President to keep in mind that the University is not his Medical Center Bezanijska Kosa.
The naming of the acting Chancellor came down to the mere vote of confidence to Professor Kuburovic, who was anyhow already assigned to this position by the Council of the Deans, since the other two Vice-Chancellors decided not to run as candidates.
If it is true that you can tells the day by the morning, the first session of the University Council in its new convocation foretells severe clashes in the Kapetan Misa's building.
007, Baby Cate & VCFEst