Facoltà di Scienze Politiche dell’ Università di Pisa, Ufficio Rapporti internazionali via Trieste, 21-56126 Pisa; Italia; e-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; URL: http://uri.sp.unipi.it
December 19th, 2011, Vilnius
Letter of Impressions
To whom it may concern,
This is personal/private Letter of Impressions as a part of my participation to the LLP/ERASMUS Programme (Teaching Staff Mobility Teaching Programme) at Facoltà di Scienze Politiche dell’ Università di Pisa (ERASMUS ID No.: I PISA 01) from November 14th to November 18th, 2011 with giving a lecture “Serbia, Kosovo and European Union”.
I was very pleased to receive from you a Letter of Invitation to give a lecture “Serbia, Kosovo and European Union” at Facoltà di Scienze Politiche dell’ Università di Pisa in November 2011 as the objectives and requirements of your teaching programme closely match my own professional goals and background.
I was thinking that I would be a valuable participant in the programme as a lecturer, taking into account twelve years of the university teaching/research experience, a participation in the ERASMUS international teaching exchange programme (as a visiting lecturer at University of Hannover, Hannover, Germany, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, University of Granada, Spain, University of Latvia, Ryga, Latvia, University of Grenoble, Grenoble, France, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, Masaryk University in Brno, The Czech Republic, EuroColleague in Tartu, Estonia and University of Minho, Braga, Portugal), and as a lecturer at Warsaw University, East Winter Schools, and that was a reason that I applied.
I was hopeful that I would bring to your programme the benefits of a diverse, international, cross-cultural work and educational experience of my teaching and research activities during the last 16 years.
However, and unfortunately, being only several hours in “academic” environment at your faculty, and primarily due to the “academic” staff who organized my lecturing followed by discussions headed by “Professor” Elena Dundevich my hopes failed due to the following facts:
- The teaching/organizational staff lead by “Professor” Dundevich did not show professional/academic interest for acceptance of any different facts and opinions based on presented historical sources and other relevant material which are going outside of already self-fixed framework of “truth” that has to be both untouchable and unquestionable forever like mediaeval confessional dogma.
- “Professor” Dundevich’s real academic/professional familiarity with the topic of my presentation and wider concerning the region of the South-East Europe in general is extremely limited in both space and time as her shown knowledge and interest in the current regional politics and scientific research of it is restricted within the years of 1991−1995. At some more prosperous faculties and universities such “Professor” could not be allowed to play a role of main coordinator and discussant on the topic I presented as a guest lecturer.
- It has to be stressed that organizational staff of my lecturing already after the first 15% of my presentation made a public conclusion that it is not “scientific” and valuable for further discussion that is extremely unprofessional, undemocratic and even unmoral gesture. Unfortunately, during the time of after-lecturing public discussion it was not offered by the same staff any example of the methodologically real scientific approach concerning the topic presentation and topic discussions probably for the very reason that the staff itself is not able to do that as from methodological point of view the “science” at your faculty works according to the “Restaurant principle”: We eat this one but we do not eat that one as we know that such food is not healthy.
- I was extremely shocked with material and technical conditions in which your faculty works (at least what I saw) that is in my opinion under acceptable lowest level of standards for one serious European academic institution. The “class-room” of my lecturing was much more small cafe-style tavern than faculty teaching space and multimedia projector that was offered to me for my presentation was not fully adequate for this purpose. That was a reason that my power point presentation was not of a full usage for the audience. I cannot believe that your faculty does not have any better technical equipments to offer to the teachers including and simple “Made in China” plastic prolonger for electricity supply. For that reason, I kindly invite you to visit the Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius where you will find class-rooms designed for the international conferences with above West European level of technical equipments for the academic work. In addition, the organizational staff of my lecturing was informed by me that I need normal multimedia system for my presentation even in June.
- In my opinion, the biggest and absolutely unacceptable organizational failure of my lecturing was the fact that according to our bilateral “Erasmus Programme Teaching Assignment/Teaching Programme” contract signed by both sides in June 2011 it was agreed that my lecturing is going to be 5 hrs. For that purpose my presentation was prepared for 5 hrs including and oral explanations of the slides and issues and discussion time. However, my lecturing started with 20 minutes being late due to the fact that technical equipment for the presentation was not prepared at time and students’ absence from the class-room. Taking this into consideration I was forced to practically do improvisation of the presentation in order not to over cross time limit of 90 minutes given to both presentation and discussion. Taking into consideration this fact the presentation covered the most important issues of the lecturing topic but not all of them especially very wide and long historical background of the problem. However, exactly this gap in my presentation became the main basis for, in my opinion, politically motivated remarks by “Professor” Elena Dundevich who did everything to disqualify my academic background and presentation in front of the audience.
- The same topic with the same power point slides and oral presentation was already two times presented within the framework of LLP/Erasmus Programme – at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the University of Granada in Spain in April 2010 and at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Masaryk University in Brno in the Czech Republic in March 2011. In both cases my presentation was highly positively welcomed, accepted and evaluated from both the organisational academic staff and the students.
- Finally, my strong impression (I hope wrong) which I brought from Facoltà di Scienze Politiche dell’ Università di Pisa is that this faculty is primarily organized and working within a framework of the Union of Yugoslav Communists’ summer party school in the village of Kumrovec in North-Western Croatia from the time of dictator Josip Broz Tito. For that reason, I am extremely happy that I am not working at your faculty.
Nevertheless, I have to thank to all of those students from the audience who supported my presentation and arguments and especially to one of them (from Italy) with whom I was talking after the presentation on the streets of Pisa who very much appreciated my presentation and thank to me to be brave to present it at the one-minded side and politically coloured “scientific” institution.
As a matter of professional codex behaviour I strongly ask you to scan this Letter of Impressions and to put to your webpage. This letter is also sent to the Dean of the Facoltà di Scienze Politiche dell’ Università di Pisa.
Assoc. Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
Assoc. Prof. Vladislav B. Sotirovic
Mykolas Romeris University
Faculty of Politics and Management
Political Science Department
Valakupių street No. 5
Office phone: (+3705) 2740 611
Mob. phone LTU: 867664317
Mob. phone SRB: 0621662700
Office fax: (+3705) 2740 624