European University Association (E.U.A.) este o organizație ce contribuie, prin demersurile sale, la dezvoltarea instituțiilor de învățământ superior din Europa. Sloganul acestei organizații este: STRONGER UNIVERSITIES FOR EUROPE
La cererea Ministerului Educației, E.U.A. a acceptat să joace rolul de evaluator extern al universităților din România. Ca atare, rolul E.U.A. în România este de a evalua instituțiile de învățământ superior din țara noastră, din perspectiva criteriilor de calitate și performanță instituțională ale acestora. Aceste criterii au stat la baza clasificării universităților din România în cele trei grupe valorice.
A venit rândul UCB Tg-Jiu să fie evaluată de E.U.A., în perioada 15-17 mai a.c. Universitatea de stat din Tg-Jiu se află în cea mai slabă grupă valorică. În scrisoarea adresată E.U.A., am evidențiat câteva dintre aspectele ce justifică proasta situare a singurei universități de stat din Gorj pe ultimele locuri din România, dar și necesitatea unei analize serioase, în așa fel încât UCB să progreseze, ca urmare a concluziilor raportului E.U.A..
Concluzia noastră este că managementul anti-performant din UCB a sabotat, în ultimii 5-6 ani, orice dezvoltare a acestei instituții, ce are multiple resurse, care sunt anulate de stilul sultanic al celor două conduceri – formală și informală.
Potrivit calendarului oficial al evaluărilor, în data de 15 mai a.c., reprezentanții E.U.A. au avut programate întâlniri cu exponenți ai societății civile din Gorj. Deși am monitorizat obiectiv și coerent în ultimii ani această universitate, conducerea ei a avut grijă să priveze experții E.U.A. de un contact direct cu conducerea Grupului de Acțiune în Interes Public.
Redăm, mai jos, textul scrisorii oficiale adresate de asociația noastră conducerii E.U.A.
To the E.U.A. Committee, reviewing the “Constantin Brancusi” University, of Targu-Jiu (May 15th-17th, 2013)
May 15th, 2013, Targu-Jiu, Romania
To Whom It Might Concern:
Please accept this letter as whistleblower approach of civil society, and as support in your work to diagnose accurately the present institutional status of the only state-university from Targ-Jiu, the “Constantin Brancusi” University (CBU).
I am the acting vice-president of the “Grupul de Actiune in Interes Public (G.A.I.P.)” NGO, and the senior – editor of the Gorjnews Investigative Journal. On behalf of these two public entities, GAIP and Gorjnews, I have been monitoring the “Constantin Brancusi” University (CBU), these last few years.
Consequently, I approach you today, with the sole public purpose of helping CBU (a state university, subsided from public money, tax-payers’ money) to shift course and turn towards a path of progress; the first step is for it to bluntly admit the problems that cause its really low position in the Romanian national rankings.
In what follows, only in the public interest, as GAIP and Gorjnews always acted, I will attempt to give you our blunt perspective on CBU, hoping that you will make use of the authority, thus bestowed in you by E.U.A., in order to contribute to the progress of the only public university in the county of Gorj. I have no doubt that the employees, the students, and the people of this community will be most grateful, should you choose to take this job seriously.
In what follows, I will assume, as my duty, to introduce to you some key – issues specific to CBU, hoping sincerely that, where our community has – sadly- failed, you will prevail, and this state university will walk a path that shares the values of democracy, modernism, academic freedom and excellence, rather than those of sultanism, which is its main characteristic now. This could be a first historic step for CBU, in its difficult struggle to become a European university, and your help may matter utmost.
Coherently with all these, I will try to point to you some aspects that the press and the civil society consider outrageous, since they prevent CBU from developing. Not-surprisingly, CBU is ranked as one of the last 3-4 poorest universities in the country, as far as academic quality, or public transparency. This is where civil society, free press and, hopefully, E.U.A. can come into play and cause a progress shift, by diagnosing the present situation of this institution, as accurately as possible.
Here are some aspects which, during your short first visit here, I don’t ask you to believe, but only to check and reason afterwards, based on the arguments, facts, realities I will present underneath; as you will see, I will approach some specific issues, that have to do with factors relevant to the E.U.A. criteria in evaluating an institution: administrative competence and transparency, professional competence, academic ethics and integrity, institutional transparency, the separation between education and politics inside the university, and democratic standards, most of which, CBU fails at, due to irresponsible public management.
Most of the following facts, statements, and demonstrations are based on journalistic investigations or civil society approaches and evaluations. Here are some of the conclusions resulting after our monitoring, institutionally, the “Constantin Brancusi” University, from Targu-Jiu:
1.Any university is supposed to be run, lawfully, through a University Charter, which should comply with the National Law of Education, no. 1/2011. It is not the case with CBU’s, and G.A.I.P. recently made the Minister of Education aware of the fact that this university makes addings/changes to the Law in its Charter, which is illegal. The text of the petition addressed to the Minister of Education, was published by Gorjnews as well. I will point only some of the irregularities: for example, according to CBU’s Charter, Article 31, the Senate’s President is given attributions, abusively, at the level of a management/executive position, while, in the National Law of Education, it is not; CBU’s Charter’s Article 60 (1) adds to the Law of Education again, when it specifies that the Senate’s President is entitled to request the Senate meetings. In fact, only the rector or 1/3 of the Senate can do that, according to the National Law of Education; no other specification of such attribution is made, as far as the Senate’s President is concerned, in the text of the Law. Examples can continue and any reasonable person can reach only one conclusion: CBU is administered, based on a Charter that does not comply with the National Law of Education, while it ought to, and allows continuous abuses of certain individuals, in key-positions in the university, against their subordinates. Should you need to speak to such individuals – CBU employees, who can confirm the abuses of the Senate, I can provide names. Either ways, the democratic deficiency is obvious. Same goes for the attitude of CBU officials of ignoring intentionally the National Education Law, which any university functions by.
2.We identified a significant amount of irregularities, not only at the level of professional competence of the faculty, but also at the level of their academic and research ethics: by so-called “competence”, one has to understand plagiarism, when it comes to CBU officials, or, simply, identity theft. More underneath:
2.1.Thus, after a serial investigation, published in Gorjnews, recently, we discovered that people holding key-position in the CBU administration authored publications, which, without any doubt, are to be easily accused of plagiarism. Here are a few examples:
2.1.1. Mrs. Gabriela Babucea, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, authored an article, which was accused by Prof. Scott Lynch, from Princeton University, of direct plagiarism after his copyrighted course notes. We exposed the plagiarism here as well as Dr. Lynch’s confirmation in English that, what Babucea did was, undoubtedly, a direct plagiarism after his material. Dr. Lynch’s contact details are available here, should you choose to get in touch with him to confirm.
2.1.2. Mrs. Monica Bica, Dean of the Faculty of Sport, was author of a plagiarized study that was published in 2011 in a “research volume”, titled ”Comunități rurale din Gorj. Repere monografice și identitare”, Vol. I, and reedited, after eliminating Mrs. Bica’s plagiarized study, in 2012. Gorjnews published the proof in an article available here.
2.1.3. The same volume previously mentioned (”Comunități rurale din Gorj…”) was supported financially through an illegal internal grant, given by the CBU Senate to its President, the same Mr. Gorun Adrian, who is also the coordinator of the volume. This unfortunate result of the said grant – a volume accused of plagiarism – is under review at the “National Council of Ethics” of the Ministry of Education. The registration no. of the petition is 1289/9.04.2013. Their contact details are available here, if you need to consult with them. Plagiarism is not the only issue here; another significant fact is nepotism – the coordinator of the volume was the Senate’s President, Mr. Gorun Adrian, while his scientific advisor was his own son – Mr. Horatiu Gorun. According to Romanian law, this is illegal and forbidden – nepotism at the level of research. Actually, this is not the only research issue in Gorun Adrian’s file – there were quite a few penal complaints filed by various CBU professors, concerning the unnatural implication of Mr Gorun (who is a Philosophy PhD) in research projects in the field of Engineering. For further scientific details, in this matter, Gorjnews has spoken to prof. Gheorghe Popescu, of CBU’s Faculty of Engineering. I am sure the administration can provide his contact details, should you choose to get a better understanding of the penal side of some “research” activities in this university.
2.2. Identity theft – is a habit the CBU administration has proved to master skillfully. In the recent past, we proved, in a well documented investigation, that the chief-officers of an “international” conference of CBU – Rector Moise Bojinca and President Adrian Gorun – used the name of a respectable British professor in the conference’s scientific committee, without her approval. More details, here. An e-mail, in English, from Dr. Martin is available in the text, proving that her name was used without authorization. This is not the only case; should you choose to read the recently published Rector’s report in detail, you will discover, at page 62-63, a number of names of professors from foreign universities, which, should you contact them, will most probably confirm they were not aware their names were used in activities of CBU’s, e.g. Michel Weber, Francois Beets, Jean Claude Dumoncel, Jean Pascal Alcantara. On behalf of civil society, I disapprove such practices – used frequently by CBU – that humiliate the nice and decent people of Targu-Jiu. I urge you to take drastic measures with such academic impostors, like the management of CBU, that put Romanian image and pride to shame!
3.Another worrying aspect is the lack of administrative transparency; CBU is a public university, therefore it has to justify every penny it uses. Unfortunately, since 2011, all the decisions of its legislative body – the Senate – are secret. From this point of view, CBU is on the lowest places in the national ranking; such behavior is unheard of. For more details, there is a civil society project of the “Societatea Academica Romana”(SAR), that clarified the level of transparency of each university. CBU doesn’t look good in these rankings and that’s not surprising. Here are the general suggestions SAR made, and CBU does not comply with.
Unfortunately they are in Romanian and that may pose a problem to you; still, here is a link, which, even though in Romanian, proves to you that CBU stopped posting the decisions of the Senate in 2011, once one, Mr. Gorun Adrian, was elected president of the Senate. As you can easily notice, the last Senate decision that was made public on CBU’s website is dated 10/20/2011, and the last Administrative Council’s decision – 11/21/2011. Do you think what we have here is a transparent institution?! Nevertheless, millions of Euros – public money – are spent by CBU yearly!! The over politicized administration apparently has no reaction to that, as far as CBU is concerned, just because the main characters “running the show” have the support of the governing party – the Social-Democrats. Will the EAU be intimidated by politicians as well, when drafting their conclusions on CBU?!
4.Proof of the implication of politics inside CBU – recently the University bestowed a sort of Alumni Council, called “Consiliu Consultativ”; not surprisingly, the Chairman of the Council is the National Vice- president of the Social-Democrat Party, Mr. Ion Calinoiu, while the vice-president of the Council is the President of the Social-Democrat Party of Gorj, Mr. Florin Carciumaru. They both were vivid supporters of the Romanian Prime-minister, Mr Victor Ponta, when he had to be reelected. The prime-minister publicly thanked them, on national TV, for their help. Under the circumstances, how important do you think the Social-democrat Party is inside CBU?! Also, how good can academic governance be, when the friends of the Prime-minister are involved in supporting an abusive, non-transparent, unperformant university administration?!
5.The need to intimidate the press and the civil society – since Gorjnews and the G.A.I.P. NGO were the only organizations in Targu-Jiu, presenting publicly all these CBU irregularities, we have been sued various times, and will probably be sued again. It is a risk we assume for the sake of reporting the truth and supporting the modernizing of Targu-Jiu and CBU. Luckily, you came to Targ-Jiu, when I just made public, on the www.cuteanu.eu online platform, another outrageous irregularity: the fact that a CBU professor had, between Sept 2010-Oct 2011, 4 job contracts with CBU at the same time, pretending to work 23 hours a day, for over a year. Also, between 10/18/2011-10/25/2011, the same person had a fifth contract with the University, working, in theory, around 27 hours a day. The person is the President of the Senate, Mr. Gorun Adrian. All the details are here. Again, I don’t ask you to believe our arguments, but, instead, to ask CBU to present to you official documents for the number of hours Mr Gorun Adrian worked between 10/18/2011-10/25/2011. This is just an example; there are other members of the CBU administration who did similar stunts, but we just didn’t get access to documents yet, since this university does not allow the press that’s not favorable to them to get access to any information of public interest. More than that, some of the newspapers are banned from attending public events organized inside the CBU, just because they dare to report the truth accurately.
Dear members of the EUA committee, these are only a few examples that the press and the civil society found out about, and which we are very happy to submit to your attention, hoping they can be put to good use through your work
I am sure that the level of access CBU must grant to you, as courtesy to E.U.A., may allow you to discover the rest, and, thus, explain publicly the poor academic quality of this public university.
On behalf of the GAIP NGO and the Gorjnews Investigative Journal, I assure you that we will offer you any support that may help you help the “Constantin Brancusi” University step on a path of progress.
This letter will be available on the online platform www.cuteanu.eu
Cerasel CUTEANU, PhD
Vice-president of the GAIP NGO
Senior – Editor of Gorjnews
0763 794 549