The four candidates for the new rector of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” meet their visions of management in a debate organized by The Student Council at SU.
In a discussion about the problems, solutions and the future of the University, Prof. Dr. Georgi Valchev from the Faculty of Philosophy, Prof. Dr Kliment Naydenov from the Faculty of Geology and Geography, Prof. Dr. n. Milen Zamfirov from the Faculty of Educational Sciences and the Arts and Academician Prof. Ph.D. n. Nikolay Vitanov from the Faculty of Physics.
The second and last term of the current rector Prof. Anastas Gerdzhikov expires this month. He heads SU since 2015. According to the procedure adopted by the Academic Council, the General Assembly will elect individual and collective management and control bodies of SU on November 22, 2023.
In presenting his program to the academic community, after being elevated by the Faculty of Philosophy’s Facultative Council, Prof. Dr. Georgi Valchev announced that as a main priority he would defend the preservation of the human and intellectual potential of the SU, “because we are entering difficult times, heralding a decrease in the number of students”.
The candidate for rector of Sofia University Prof. Dr. Georgi Valchev
In 1988, Georgi Valchev graduated from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” with a master’s degree in history, with a second major in “Philosophy”. In 1998, he received the educational and scientific degree “doctor” at Sofia University, at the Center for Cultural Studies. Since December 2015, he has been the deputy rector of Sofia University for educational activities – doctoral students and continuing education. He was the deputy dean of the Faculty of Philosophy for academic activities (2011-2015). He is the head of the Department of “History and Theory of Culture” (2011-2019). He is the scientific secretary of the Department of “History and Theory of Culture” (2003-2011). He is the head of the master’s program “Management and Socialization of Cultural Heritage”. He has been a member of the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Philosophy since 2011 and of the Academic Council of Sofia University since 2019.
Institutional transparency, decent pay and teamwork are the words from the motto of my campaign for a candidate for rector of Sofia University (SU) “St. Kliment Ohridski”, announced to the academic community earlier this month Prof. Dr. Kliment Naydenov. His candidacy for rector of SU was nominated by the General Assembly of the Faculty of Geology and Geography, for which he was re-elected as dean in October.
The candidate for rector of Sofia University Prof. Dr. Kliment Naydenov
He is a geographer, demographer, regionalist and public figure. He is a professor in the “Regional Development” Department of the Faculty of Geology and Geography of the SU. Participated in the creation of some of the new bachelor’s programs at GGF, including “Geography and English Language” and “Geospatial Systems and Technologies”. In 2023, he co-initiated and participated in the creation of the innovative interdisciplinary and interfaculty bachelor’s program in English “Climate change and management”. In 2023, he was accepted as a member of the Bulgarian Antarctic Institute in connection with his active participation in events related to the Bulgarian scientific research program “Antarctica”.
The first principle in the vision and in my mandate program is related to the fact that every administration will be based on the idea of transparency and in full compliance with the normative acts. This was said by the candidate for rector prof. dpn Milen Zamfirov in presenting your program to the academic community. His candidacy was promoted by the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Educational Sciences and Arts. According to him, “one of the main problems is the demographic pressure, which has a direct impact on the SU”.
The candidate for rector of Sofia University Prof. Milen Zamfirov
Since 2019, Prof. Milen Zamfirov has been the dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences and Arts. Outside Sofia University, he worked at a Day Center for disabled children – teacher, coordinator, at the Institute for Space Research and Technology of the BAS, at the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy. He was also a teacher in various general education and hospital schools, and for years was the director of a Day Center for disabled children.
The one erected by the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Physics Acad Prof. Doctor of Physical Sciences Nikolay Vitanov is the deputy of the previous rector Prof. Atanas Gerdzhikov during his two terms at the head of Sofia University. He told the academic community that during these 8 years, he realized “that being rector of SU is one of the most difficult positions in our country, in general. This is because the rector is the face of SU in front of the public, in front of the government, before business and foreign ambassadors, before our international partners.”
The candidate for rector of the Sofia University, Academician Prof. Doctor of Physical Sciences Nikolay Vitanov
Academician Nikolay Vitanov points to the fragmentation of the university related to the 16 faculties and three departments as a major problem. He proposes to have postponed meetings of the Academic Council in different faculties, as well as to initiate a discussion so that in every undergraduate program every student can take at least two elective courses from another faculty.
Academician Nikolay Vitanov is a leading scientist in the world in quantum informatics and coherent control of quantum systems. He is among the top 2% of the best scientists in the world, according to the ranking of the prestigious Stanford University. Since 2015, he has been the deputy rector for scientific and project activities of Sofia University. In 2014, he was elected a corresponding member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), and from 2021 he is an academician of the BAS.