On July 1, The HSE Academic Council received and reviewed the letter of resignation from Evgeny Yasin, HSE University’s Academic Supervisor. The members of the Academic Council unanimously elected Professor Yasin as Honorary Academic Supervisor. In a secret ballot, Yaroslav Kuzminov was elected as the new Academic Supervisor of HSE University. Earlier today, Yaroslav Kuzminov announced that he is resigning as HSE University Rector. The Russian Government, in its capacity as the University’s founder, will appoint a new rector in due time.
I am stepping down as HSE University Rector, having served in this capacity since 1992.
I hope that Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signs the respective governmental order today.
It was hard for me to make this decision and I have delayed it several times.
Today, the Academic Council elected me as Academic Supervisor of our university. I am gratefully taking this position. I am thankful to Evgeny Yasin, who suggested it. I will do my best to fulfil the role that Evgeny Yasin has played at HSE University for almost three decades.
Together with all of you, we have built a remarkable university and I don’t have any reason to feel embarrassed when I meet any of you on campus. I will remain at HSE University as your peer and will actively participate in university operations. I hope I can do this on the strength of my personal reputation, rather than just administrative powers. At least, we’ll see.
I wish to leave now to be able to engage in research and projects. I feel that I have enough energy for it. I can step down now because I am confident that the culture that evolved at the university is self-sustaining. The core of HSE University—the team of 5,000 researchers—honourably represents Russia in the global academic community. Whatever challenges and temptations await, we will not sacrifice the quality of research, nor deviate from academic integrity.
HSE has become a global university—millions of people worldwide attend our courses. Most of our research project teams include international researchers. Nevertheless, we are not turning into global citizens: research is global, but we have learnt how to apply it to serve Russia’s national interests.
Today, HSE University probably enrols one in every two of the smartest, strongest and most ambitious prospective students in Russia. HSE’s fantastically strong students learn not only from us—they learn from each other. Moreover, our alumni community is becoming an increasingly important player in the university development and is starting to shape the university’s future.
Today, I want to thank all the people who believed in HSE University and have built HSE, from the very beginning, in the 1990s, as well as in early 2000s, and over the recent years. First of all, I would like to thank my peers on the Rector’s Council, heads of HSE campuses, and faculty deans. A top executive at a university is not a lifelong occupation since academics become managers here. As they take on administrative roles, they always sacrifice their research and communication with students.
Speaking about being a rector, a rector should not stay in their position forever. If that is the case, a person would inevitably turn into a monument to oneself, losing all passion for change. I very much do not want this to happen to me. I do not want to grow old as a rector.
Just recently, I co-authored a book with Maria Yudkevich, which took us a painfully long time to write. During my time as rector, I published one more book with her, which I like a lot. It is a course in institutional economics. If not for the administrative responsibility and workload, which consumes not only time, but also emotions, I would have written ten more books. I know the topic of each of them and I would like to work on these problems. I have suggested hypotheses, built models, discussed them with colleagues, and conducted workshops.
I have never found satisfaction, let alone pleasure, in administrative work—in making decisions, issuing orders, managing resources or sitting in the offices of powerful people. I did it because it was my duty, my responsibility to the university. I have always had, as many of you know, a sharp feeling of internal dissatisfaction, a feeling of something lacking from my university mission.
I’ve had to make some important and, at times, tough decisions. I’ve had to part with people, to break structures, to force or not allow people to do certain things. I want to apologize to those whom I hurt or to whom I was inattentive. I want to say one thing: I have never made a decision that would go against the interests of the university, our faculty community, its students, and our country. That would be against my own beliefs.
The university that we have created is Russia’s national treasure. It is something that unites us and reinforces our self-respect.
Please take care of it. And stay with HSE University in the future.