As of 1 October 2020, Marian Preda, professor of sociology and Rector of the University of Bucharest becomes the new president of the CIVIS alliance. Professor Preda succeeds Prof. Astrid Soderbergh Widding from Stockholm University. Taking up the presidency at a time when the pandemic has settled in and changed the way we deliver education, Professor Preda plans to use the next six months to enhance the alliance’s strength and cohesion in the new pandemic scenario, with an emphasis on creating new solutions for virtual mobilities and virtual educational experiences within CIVIS.
“During the next six months all our working groups will continue their efforts to adapt the original plans of CIVIS to the new reality, and this will definitely mean a shift towards virtual education. Luckily, the University of Bucharest is the one that coordinates the working package dedicated to Teaching Excellence and that means that our presidency will focus on bringing solutions and implementing new strategies that can help us all keep our standards even when facing troublesome times and unexpected enemies like the COVID-19 pandemic.
So the main objective will be to ensure continuity and support for the already approved projects and initiatives. What I would be glad to add during the next 6 months is a debate and maybe some concrete initiatives along two lines of action: moving our cooperation to the grass roots level by developing sub-networks directly between similar departments and faculties in the consortium and creating a system of indicators and targets to help us in strategic planning and especially in monitoring our activities and evaluating our results. So, on the one hand I think our students, teachers and researchers from similar academic fields must be connected and helped to communicate and work together and, on the other hand, I would like to see a clear set of indicators that will help us to measure where we are now, to plan where we intend to go and to monitor our achievements. If we discuss and plan to increase mobilities, to do research and to publish together, then we need to be able to measure all those objectives. But, again, let us first start a debate and then decide together on the best way to make things happen.”
Marian Preda is a professor of Sociology, Management & Social Policy, the Rector of the University of Bucharest (since Dec 2019). He is the former president of the Senate of the University of Bucharest (2015-19), former dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work (2008-15), former president of the Romanian Sociological Society (2010-12), president of the Presidential Commission for Social & Demographic Risks Analyses (2009-10). Prof. Preda has 29 years of experience in carrying out scientific projects on social issues in Romania both in his capacity of researcher at the Research Institute for Quality of Life and as a member of the academic and scientific life of the University of Bucharest. He has been a consultant for the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity, National Antipoverty and Social Inclusion Commission of the Romanian Government under projects financed by EU, DFID and The World Bank and in the Republic of Moldova (for UNICEF and for UNFPA). Prof. Preda had a Fulbright Research Grant hosted by the Sociology Department of the George Washington University (May – August 2017).