HSE Faculties of Law and Humanities to Be Restructured
The HSE University administration has approved proposed structural changes to the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of the Humanities. The changes will streamline managerial processes and better facilitate the faculties’ pursuit of research and educational objectives. The changes will take effect at the start of new academic year on September 1, 2020.
According to HSE First Vice Rector Vadim Radaev, while the changes to each faculty differ, the general purpose is the same. ‘A new university development programme has been adopted, which outlines new ambitious tasks, and to achieve them we need to move faster than before,’ he explains. ‘We want to strengthen research activity in a number of areas and play a more active role at the international level. These changes will provide optimal conditions in which teaching staff can collaborate, streamline faculty structures, and increase student project-based education.’
The three departments in the Faculty of Law will be disaggregated, as their large size limits flexibility and reduces manageability. New research structures will be created, and existing neighboring structures will be integrated in order to increase collaboration.
Vadim Vinogradov, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, spoke in more detail about the restructuring. The departments will be broken up into smaller research-based departments (institutes) in the Faculty’s priority areas. The Faculty’s administration will be consolidated into two main units: one that serves the Faculty’s undergraduate programmes and another that serves its graduate programmes. In addition, units to develop relations with state authorities, large companies, and leading expert organizations will be created.
Associated and independent legal institutes (the HSE – Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, the Institute of Administrative Law and Enforcement, and the Institute of Law in the Digital Environment) will be integrated into the Faculty of Law. An institute for the transformation of legal education will be created to methodically support the reforms of legal education and the study of the legal profession.
In the Faculty of Humanities, the School of Philosophy and the School of Cultural Studies will be united into the School of Philosophy and Cultural Studies. A School of Philology will be created, and the School of Literary History and Theory and the School of General and Applied Philology will be closed. The division of these two schools, according to Vadim Radaev, lead to a narrowing of subject areas in the field rather than the expected substantive results. The University hopes that the integration of the two schools will facilitate more comprehensive and dynamic research.
Structural transformations are only the beginning of a new stage in the Faculty’s development: in the coming year, project research departments will be created within the schools, faculty members will more actively participate in competitions, and more.
Mikhail Boytsov, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, noted that these changes are being implemented with the aim of optimizing education and research in the Faculty as well as creating a more efficient personnel structure. He stressed the importance of expanding interdisciplinary initiatives. Over the past five years, grant applications for proposed new educational programmes and laboratories have tended to come from close-knit circles of colleagues who work on similar topics. It is necessary, he said, to expand project-based work and international collaboration—particularly in Russian Studies.
Over the past ten years, two-thirds of colleagues at the University have entered the global community—they have areas of interest beyond HSE and beyond Russia
‘Against this background, however, you cannot do without professional collaboration in your immediate work environment—schools and departments should be sites where we are interested in each other. The aim of this structural consolidation and project-based approach is to get different kinds of people involved who will be interesting to each other,’ says HSE Rector Yaroslav Kuzminov.
The university administration meeting also discussed issues regarding the Code of Conduct for HSE staff, academic bonus allowances, bonuses for publications that contribute to the international academic reputation of HSE, and the improvement of students’ English-language and computer software skills.
At the close of the meeting, Yaroslav Kuzminov congratulated colleagues on the University’s first-place ranking in the recent Forbes Russian university ranking and reminded them of the need to put more effort into placing first in other ratings.