A constituent meeting of the regional branch of the Russian Professorial Assembly Russian Social Organisation was held at South Ural State University. This event became the beginning of a new stage of development for the academic and scientific societies of the Chelyabinsk Region.
Along with SUSU, four more universities in the region joined the regional branch of the RPA: South Ural State Humanitarian Pedagogical University, South Ural State Medical University, South Ural State Agrarian University, and the Chelyabinsk State Institute of Culture and Arts. South Ural State University Rector Aleksandr Shestakov and Chairman of the Public Chamber for the Chelyabinsk Region Oleg Dubrovin were the ones who initiated the creation of a regional branch of the Russian Professorial Assembly at the region’s leading university.
The Russian Professorial Assembly is a big social organisation which unites the professorial community across the country. In the two years since the RPA was established, more than 4,000 professors, who are experts in various fields of research, have joined it. The Russian Professorial Assembly has established scientific councils and commissions, an expert centre for social and professional accreditation, and a research and education centre. The RPA works closely with the State Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles. In addition, the organisation has established its own Professor of the Year award, which celebrates outstanding professors across Russia.
Head of Staff for the RPA, Doctor of Sciences (Economics), Professor Andrey Panarin noted that inclusion of the South Ural region universities in to the Russian Professorial Assembly was an important moment for the development of science and education.
“The Russian Professorial Assembly’s main goal is to build horizontal communications between the professors of different regions in our country. The RPA has 65 branches, in which there are 165 universities. Regional branches are created primarily at federal universities and institutions of higher education, which have the status of “National Research University”. SUSU (a National Research University), is a pivotal university in the region. It is part of Programme 5-100 and has the fourth-largest student body in Russia. There is a huge number of leading researchers here and in other universities in the South Ural region which are part of the RPA. Not including the Chelyabinsk Region in this movement would have been a huge loss for the Russian professorial community.”
Aleksandr Diakonov, Vice-Rector for Research, noted that the inclusion of universities of the Chelyabinsk Region will make it possible to determine their true position in the academic and research societies of Russia and the world, and to identify the most important fields of research being worked on in the region.
“The establishment of a regional branch plays an important role both for our university and for other universities in the region. It is important for professorial communities to interact, because through this, we will have a clear understanding of how each university is developing and what South Ural researchers are working on. Combining our efforts will strengthen the position of our region in the international research space. All of this will bring the higher education institutions that are included in this structure to a totally new level,” explained Aleksandr Diakonov.
Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Chelyabinsk Region Elena Zayko emphasised that the region’s universities are completing research work, and several projects were chosen to participate in the national project Nauka (Science). The representative of the Ministry also spoke about what tasks the RPA division formed at SUSU can complete in cooperation with the region’s Ministry of Education and Science.
“The regional branch of the Russian Professorial Assembly unites researchers even further, and this can offer significant results for the development of education and science in the South Ural region. First of all, this structure allows professors to exchange their experiences in various fields of knowledge at different levels – regional, federal, and international. Second, it can become a kind of arbiter in controversial issues which require an expert opinion. Third, there is a huge number of events held in the region to support the scientific community and young researchers, and partnership with the Russian Professorial Assembly is extremely important to us. We are at the beginning of great, fruitful work, and we hope that it will bring as much benefit as possible to our region.”
At the constituent meeting, open elections were held to choose the Chairperson of the regional branch of the RPA. The participants unanimously supported the candidacy of the Director of the Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities, Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor Elena Ponomareva.
“I want to thank everyone for this vote of confidence that you have given to me. The Russian Professorial Assembly aims to consolidate the strengths of the professorial community and researchers across Russia to bring the government and the scientific community closer, make the tasks of education be available to the public, and solve common problems together. It’s great that at the first meeting of our regional branch we have professors not just from South Ural State University, but from other universities of the Chelyabinsk Region, as well. I would like everyone to understand that science in Chelyabinsk is a part of science around the world. I believe that my task is to be a coordinator and translator of our ideas on solving general issues. I’m sure that with our combined strengths, we can truly do a lot,” said the Chairperson of the regional branch of the Russian Professorial Assembly thanking the attendees of the meeting.
Alena Tezina, lecturer of the Department of Russian Language and Literature of the ISSH, was chosen as secretary of the regional branch of the Russian Professorial Assembly.
At the end of the event the participants of the constituent meeting applied to join the regional branch of the RPA. The professorial society of the South Ural region will need to outline their future plans and define specific tasks. In February a delegation of the regional branch of the RPA, which includes representatives of SUSU, will take part in the 2nd Professorial Forum in Moscow.