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Kiska dismisses SAV chairman, appoints replacement

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska dismissed Jaromír Pastorek from the post of head of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), at the same time appointing Pavol Šajgalík as the new director of the research institution, TASR reported January 15.

PRESIDENT Andrej Kiska dismissed Jaromír Pastorek from the post of head of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), at the same time appointing Pavol Šajgalík as the new director of the research institution, TASR reported January 15.

“The appointment of SAV chairman is important moment because science and research are important for the future of Slovakia,” said Kiska, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

The SAV is to go through a difficult year on the heels of a cut in its budget, changes in its financial management and a merger of some of its institutes, Šajgalík said after being installed in the office.

“This is a very complicated year for us, because our budget is €2 million lower than last year ... with a sizable impact on the functioning of the institution, and we'll have to come to grips with it,” said Šajgalík as quoted by TASR.

The personnel change was decided on by the members of the SAV Congress, who proposed that Pastorek should be ousted on December 18. SAV scholars objected mainly to Pastorek’s reported inability to handle communications with other researchers. He was also criticised for the Academy's 2015 budget.

Subsequently, at their special session on January 7, the delegates of the Congress elected Šajgalík, a chemistry professor who has served as SAV’s vice-chair for finances, as their new chairman. Šajgalík acquired 71 percent of the vote.

“I do not feel like winner, I feel like a person who should lead this institution out of the problems that have accumulated,” Šajgalík said after the voting, as quoted by TASR.

Meanwhile, the cabinet at its session on December 14 decided that Pastorek would take up the new post of Government Proxy For Research and Innovation after his dismissal.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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