Comments on: Olesia Mihai resigns following’s Review 10 upholding academic integrity and ethical values Wed, 15 Jan 2014 17:31:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ducu Fri, 17 May 2013 09:20:40 +0000 In a Byzantine country such as Romania, there is no more decency, consciousness and dignity. And this is to be seen horizontally and vertically.

Various cases of plagiarism in the past years, and not only from Romania (another recent one refers to Research Minister Annette Schavan in Germany), have been plaguing the academic world of the country.
In this respect, should Victor Ponta still have some honour, has to step down from his office and his PhD degree should be retracted. The same with the other “academics” in Romania.

Regarding “Al.I.Cuza” University, the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration is far from being a genuine European one. The academic staff there trumpet a European ethos. Far from the truth. The dynamics is rather Byzantine-Phanariot, a serf-like approach towards education.

Dinu Airinei in the past stated that one of ithe faculty libraries is funded through private means and actually discriminated against students who do not belong to the faculty. That is why any student of the University but not of the Faculty of Economics has to have his approval to access the library.

But the Faculty is a state one. Moreover, the apparent academic image projected in various conferences, seminars, lectures, etc. contradicts the way various professors and administrative staff behave. There are small “academic castes” within the Faculty which promote their own elected people towards the disadvantage of other students.

One of the the economics professors stated some years ago that the academic system at the Faculty of Economics has not changed in the past 20 years. It is not like in the west.

Dinu Airinei should step down from his office due to his subjective decisions and acknowledged abuses he makes while a dean. Besides making false statements in public documents.

Moreover, in the autumn of 2010, there was a two-three-day conference organised through European financing by the Centre of European Studies. The behaviour of Carmen Pascariu from the Centre was actually evidence of the Phanariot ethos when she declined the possibility of other students taking part in seminars of the conference even if the deadline of applications had passed. Moreover, some of her organising team members were reluctant to having other students participate in the event and displayed the same obnoxious attitude.

On the other hand, the University is haunted by former communist professors. During a meeting with one of the civil society associations in 2009 at the Rectorate, Prof. Vasile Isan declined to make public the names of those professors who were Securitate informants before 1989.

At the same time, at the Faculty of Philosophy and Social and Political Sciences, there are professors who still behave in a Stalinist way. One of this is Anton Carpinschi, old communist “academic”. He remains a Stalinist who likes to have serf-students around him. The entire “academic structure” at the Faculty nourishes this XVIII-th approach toward R&D, towards the EU. Students are given “blank cheques”, are bullied, are constrained to do translations, research and article writing and then the professors put their names on the students’ works, in a word, to do what the thesis advisor wants them to do. Anton Carpinschi is the one “professor” who likes to keep his “proteges” subservient by reminding them that he is the one who brought them to the Faculty. At the same time, he likes to threaten and manipulate his students. But he projects out the image of a European professor…

Where is the system of evaluations for each professor at the Faculty? Where is feedback of students? Why the authoritarian, anti-academic ethos within the University (with various exceptions)?

Moreover, there is hardly the appropriate academic infrastructure within the University. Some professors have massed books in bookcases which are then locked up. Besides, there is enough academic staff who pretends to deliver high-quality educational services. For example, at the PhD level there was a professor who was reading from a 60s’ book on how to write a thesis (Faculty of Philosophy). This was happening in 2009.

A true European academic ethos is wanting. There is only form but no substance. Moreover, the mass media has been writing about the lack of financial resources used for paying the salaries of the University staff. How is this possible with an economist serving as a rector? Where is the money Professor Isan?

However, the Faculty of Letters, at least in the 1990s, boasted remarkable professors such as Grigore Veres, Svetlana Angheloni, Marina Muresan, Cornelia Piticari, Ms. Mirtu, Stefan Avadanei, Dumitru Dorobat, etc.

It is a pity that Olesia Lupu did what she did and, justifyingly, resigned. But the system that has nourished such “academics” and behaviour has its substance entirely plagued. Since 1989 this system has become more and more vicious towards the students and academic staff. Nowadays, PhD and MA titles are granted in a Fordian way. As various PhD graduates acknowledge, there is always a festive lunch/dinner after the defending of the thesis, each committee professor is given a small present, is paid to come over and be part of the committee (if he/she is not from Iasi) and, more importantly, during the defending, there is little interest towards the theme of the thesis.

So then, is there any wonder Romania boasts “academics” like Olesia Lupu, Victor Ponta, E. Andronescu, etc.???

Many thanks to the American and British academics, mostly, as well as to the French and German ones, to have done so much research on Romania’s past and more recent history. And this goes back, at least with the beginning of the XX th century. Comparatively speaking, based on their studies, one can fully grasp what lies beneath the surface of the Romanian iceberg.