A dispute involving the rector of Alexander Dubček University in Trenčín, Ján Kneppo, and the school’s subsidiary, the Faculty of Industrial Technologies in Púchov, has escalated. The Trenčín University has shut down the website of the faculty, while the students of the school barricaded themselves inside the faculty building, the TASR newswire reported on October 12.
The conflict started after Kneppo declared himself the dean of the faculty in Púchov and announced he wants to make personnel decisions at the school. Moreover, he has ordered that certain departments should be moved from Púchov to Trenčín.
Yet, Darina Ondrušková, a deputy dean of the faculty, maintains that Kneppo does not have the right to carry out any of these steps, she told TASR.
The students, who have barricaded themselves inside the school, have resolved not to allow anyone from Trenčín University to enter.
“Our goal is to see that the Education Ministry and all competent bodies finally stop the process of destroying the Faculty of Industrial Technologies,” said Ondrušková, as quoted by TASR. “It is not possible for the rector of Trenčín University to disregard both the agency for EU’s structural funds and fundamental human rights, and interfere with the powers of the FPT dean.”
Kneppo, on the other hand, claims that the website is down due to the malfunctioning of the server. As for the dismissal of former dean of the faculty Ján Vavro, he said that the move was lawful.
Mayor of Púchov Marián Michalec has also become involved in the dispute. He said that the methods used by the Trenčín University leadership resemble those of former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, he told TASR.
“I am pleasantly surprised by the students, who are defending their academic rights after more than 20 years [after the fall of the communism],” said Michalec.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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