The situation of the Lebanese University is not different from the general situation in the country, as it is dominated by a state of discretion, quotas, and clientelism, and the university president does not hesitate to surprise the “university” with decisions “neither risks nor problems.”
The last of which was the issuance of two decisions according to which he decided to elevate himself three ranks, and to elevate a number of professors between one and three degrees, to be seen later that they are of one color.
The first resolution No. 1776 states, “The awarding of degrees to members of the teaching staff in the teaching staff of the Lebanese University in implementation of the provisions of Article 5 of Law 12/81 dated 05/13/1981.” And the second decision No. 1775 stipulates “awarding degrees to retired members of the educational staff in the educational staff of the Lebanese University, in implementation of the provisions of Article 5 of Law 12/81 dated 05/13/1981.”
This step left astonishment and questions inside and outside the university about its timing and dimensions, especially since it was passed in a delicate circumstance and in a difficult economic situation that Lebanon is going through under a resigned government whose powers are confined to the scope of business conduct, a resigned Minister of Education, and the absence of the University Council. What are the dimensions of the step, and why did the educational inspection not move to uncover the truth and crystallize things?
The head of the executive committee of the association of full-time professors at the Lebanese University, Youssef Daher, explained to Al-Markaziyah that “these professors deserve the grades they received, which they should have obtained for a long time,” stressing “the right of professors to graduate, because the teaching assistant works to become an assistant professor. Then he works harder, writes research, participates and organizes conferences, and travels to progress more and more. ” Pointing out, “The number of professors who have obtained degrees is about 170 professors. There may be professors who have not submitted applications for their degrees, or perhaps the names mentioned need greater scrutiny, but the committee that handled the matter is reliable.”
He added: “Some people may say that the time is not appropriate, but I say that professors have been subjected to injustice a lot, and this is one of their rights and they have been waiting for these degrees for a long time. From the class of a professor in 2005 and got it, meaning that they did not submit his application, for example, it was assumed that He has been taking these degrees since 2005. We do not want to lose the right of the professors who have done research. ” He continued: “The research of some of them may not be at the required level, but I will not go into this detail. Here lies the role of the educational inspection, which was to be scrutinized, but in principle there is no ambiguity in this file.”
Regarding the president’s degrees, he said: “I will not give an opinion on the matter because I do not have data on it. I don’t know in the president’s file if there is any question mark. I’ve heard a lot of news on the subject, but I will not judge on the intentions.”
Daher pointed out that “this file was in the custody of the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun. A year ago, specifically in August, we visited him as an association. We did not talk to him directly about the issue. Rather, we spoke with his media advisor who asked us if this file was balanced, so I told him:” The issue Balance is not a problem. There are professors who have worked hard and wrote research, and competence is the most important, and we do not want to include the issue of balance in this file. The story ended at this point, and the president did not sign it, I don’t know if it was due to balance or not. ”He continued:“ A while ago I spoke with the university president about the subject, he explained to me that the university recovered the file and other files where it was pending, and that he consulted a legal committee at the university. This committee gave him the right to award degrees to professors. “
In response to a question, he said: “The president consulted a legal committee, but I personally did not get the reading to judge it. I do not have sufficient information about the importance of this committee, or whether it should be a legal committee or a judicial advisory committee built in the university. What I know is) That these matters were previously occurring through a ministerial decree signed by the presidents of the republic and the government. What changed this time? Is what happened legal? Does the legal committee have the force of law? I do not know, but I am sure that the professors did not get the rewards from a cloud, but rather they are the result of their efforts over time and from They have the right to obtain what they deserve, but as the president of the League, I will not issue a statement in support of this matter or talk about it, at a time when the people are dying of starvation, and the university’s situation is precarious and its budget is insignificant, becoming 50 million dollars after it was 250 million dollars.
He added, “There are professors asking how they can know if they got their right or not, and are there professors who did not get their right? The answer is to the committee that examined the files. This committee says that all the files that were presented were examined professionally and every person was given the grades he deserves.”
Daher touched on the subject of retired professors, who were entitled to these degrees while they were in service, stressing that “it is the university’s duty to pay them their right. When they are retired, the university is no longer the one that pays their pensions, but rather the Ministry of Finance, and it is required to pay them.” How? I don’t know. Perhaps the central administration should submit the application to the Ministry of Finance, that they deserved their rights in 2010 and were retired in 2015, we as a university paid their dues from 2010 to 2015, and the role of “Finance” came to pay them from 2015 until 2020. But does the Ministry of Finance pay attention to the issue and is it possible to pay them. I think the answer is positive, because their pensions are not high, and they have not worked for more than twenty years, and the degree is only 225 thousand, and with the deduction of the guarantee and others, it does not exceed 170 thousand. “
He concluded: “Those who deserve the degrees are the teachers in the owners. This hierarchy is a career hierarchy in the owners, and the full-time employees deserve these degrees, but they are not entitled to them, because they do not belong to the owners, and the reason is that the owners’ teachers pay retirement deductions. Therefore, one of our basic demands. The introduction of full-time employees to the owners and this file has been suspended since 2015 and it is supposed to lead its way towards a solution. But unfortunately, with the change of government, we returned to zero point with all the university’s demands.