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Establishment of the Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor

The Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor was established today at the University of Maribor. 30 emeritus and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor participated at this event. Professor Emeritus dr. Peter Glavič was elected the Head of the Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor that will operate at the Rectorate of the University of Maribor.


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The establishment of the Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers has its legal basis in Article 31 of the Statute of the University of Maribor, which provides that “the University and its Members" can have different organisational units, among them a Centre. Centres are specifically regulated in Articles 44 and 45 of the Statute and additionally by referring to the mutatis mutandis application of provisions regarding Chairs and Departments. Article 45 of the Statute provides, inter alia, that “the Head of the Centre at the University is appointed and dismissed by the Rector of the University." Therefore, the Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor shall be considered as a Centre involving higher education teachers of various Faculties. By applying Article 33 of the Statute of the University of Maribor mutatis mutandis, the proposed act provides that the Centre:

  • promotes interests of its members as well as social and intellectual relations between them;
  • organises expert consultations and examines reports on the attendance at expert consultations;
  • prepares proposals of research projects for national and international calls from fields that fall within the operations of the Centre and that assume a collaboration of three or more members of the Centre;
  • cooperates with organisations and units of the same and related fields inside and outside the University;
  • implements programmes of lifelong learning.

On the initiative of Professors Emeriti, a meeting with the University leadership was organised at the Rectorate of the University of Maribor on 19 December 2018. Professors Emeriti presented ideas on their involvement in University activities, especially as part of the efforts towards achieving the commitments of an ageing friendly University. A second meeting regarding this topic took place on 18 February 2019 emphasising that the future Centre would also include other retired Professors of the University of Maribor who would like to attend activities in the framework of the Centre. On the initiative of Professors Emeriti, an international workshop regarding active ageing and silver economy was organised in the spring. Professor Emeritus dr. Jože Gričar invited eminent experts from the field addressing the problems of ageing society and ageing friendly University.


Due to the formalisation of these activities based on Articles 31, 44 and 45 of the Statute of the University of Maribor, the Senate of the University of Maribor confirmed the establishment of the Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor. The aim is to close the intergenerational gap and show due honour to Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor as well as to convey the message inside and outside the University that the University of Maribor is an age and ageing friendly University. The employees at such universities strive for all age groups to join forces in doing as much good as possible.

 

By establishing the Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers, the University of Maribor shall join universities in Europe and the world that have strengthened activities in the field of ageing friendly institutions in recent years. In this sense, some universities in the USA and Canada have established special units for Professors Emeriti (for example Emeritus-Emerita Academic Staff of McGill University),  some universities an Association of its Professors Emeriti (for example the University of Alberta, the University of Cincinnati and the Washington University in St. Louis), however, some universities have established other forms of integrating Professors Emeriti (Emeritus College) – such as the University of British Columbia, Arizona State University, Emory University and Clemson University. In 2009, the University of Bologna established the Association of its Professors Emeriti (Association of Professors Emeriti of the University of Bologna, the 'Almae Matris Emeriti). Established is the European Association of Professors Emeriti (European Association of Professors Emeriti). Established is also the Network of age friendly universities (Age-Friendly University Global Network), which is coordinated by Professor Christine O'Kelly from Dublin City University, who also gave a lecture at the workshop in April. Currently, 42 universities participate in this network striving to implement the ten principles of an ageing friendly university.

 

Through the activities of the Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor and based on their initiatives, the University of Maribor will contribute to the implementation of the “ageing friendly university" principle and will be among those universities in the world that break new ground in this field. The University will offer them facilities for meetings as well as support for the proposed activities that the Rector will evaluate as beneficial for the University. The proposed Centre will also be linked with the work group of the University of Maribor for the Quality of Life. The proposed Centre would also take part in preparing the record of memories pertaining to University operations in the past decades as well as participate in preparing and implementing the human resources strategy of the University of Maribor in the part that refers to the ageing friendly university. This refers not only to retired professors but also to the support for older employees at the University that are approaching retirement. As part of evaluating the implementation of the European Charter and Code of Conduct for Researchers (HR Excellence in Research Award) that emphasize the importance of age friendly universities, the European Commission assessors reminded us of the necessary reflection and measures in this field.

 

We would like that by engaging with similar units abroad, the Centre for Professors Emeriti and retired higher education teachers of the University of Maribor would transfer initiatives and experience to our institution as well as help to achieve the commitments of an ageing friendly University.

 


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