Leading the Faculty is like Driving a Big Double-decker Bus, says the Re-elected Dean of FIR
The second term of the Dean’s office on the Faculty of International Relations is secured by Assoc Prof. Josef Taušer. The period begins on the 1st of February 2020 and the appointment decree was accepted by prof. Hana Machková on the 29th of January.
What has been done between 2016–2020, what are his plans and how to manage 3000 students and 200 employees? That’s what we asked the old-new dean of FIR:
What have you done in the past four years, your first term in the office, at the Faculty? Did you meet your resolutions?
The elapsed four years were certainly difficult. After a major amendment to the Higher Education Act, we had to prepare new internal regulations of the Faculty as well as a new accreditation of all our study programs (formerly fields of study). Besides that, we successfully passed a prestigious international accreditation EPAS. However, my biggest and most important moment was finding a new vision and mission of the Faculty which helped us to create a new long term strategy of the Faculty. As well as its distinctive differentiation profile. The goal is a wide internationalization which is, for example, a mandatory semester abroad in the Master’s degree program to strengthen language competencies taught in the Bachelor study program, to a steep development of internships abroad, internalization of the academic body FIR, to increase the number of host professors, dynamic increase of students in the foreign-speaking programs, to connect courses for students coming for an exchange with the Czech students including mandatory courses and even the creation of International Research Center that is mainly for foreign researches.
What is your goal as Dean of FIR by the year 2024?
We would like to focus on concrete questions of effective management of the Faculty in line with the stated strategy in the second term. Mainly in a change of the organization structure. The new scheme of the working place of the Faculty should be more reflective of the mission as well as eliminate overlays and duplicates. Subsequently, we would like to implement several partial strategic initiatives that we take as essential for the next positive stage in the Faculty’s development. It will primarily be a program of permanent personal development of FIR employees, managing the quality of academic activity and professional management in previously neglected areas.
How difficult is it to lead FIR that includes three thousand students and almost two hundred employees?
It is not completely easy, especially during the period of the necessary transformation of the Faculty. It is like driving a big double-decker bus with a lot of people on board. Every change of direction even small maneuvers are logically complicated. There are strong inertia forces that that pushes you in directions you might not be heading at all. On the other hand, it is also advantageous, you can that you can rely on a great performance and potential, meaning that if you are successful and you get to the right trajectory then it will drive almost alone with big power.
Would you like to tell something to the employees of the Faculty and the students?
It may sound too complicated but we have a quite simple slogan: “International in every aspect”. We want to have inspiration from the best foreign Universities, perceive the newest world trends in education and use our experiences and contacts with foreign countries for the continuous development of our study programs that would connect with the future needs of the working market.