PEN Ukraine statement regarding situation with presidential election at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

PEN Ukraine statement regarding situation with presidential election at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Picture: NaUKMA web-page

We, members of the Ukrainian PEN, human rights activists, writers, scholars, educators, professors, journalists, civil activists, are deeply concerned about the situation revolving around the presidential election at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA).

During the second round of the NaUKMA presidential election on 27 January 2022, an incident aimed to sabotage the election took place.

However, the incident did not prevent the election commission from determining the winner. It is Serhiy Kvit, who received 235 votes (52,8 %), while his opponent, the acting president Oleksandra Humenna, 191 votes (42,9 %), as stated by the election commission and the organizing committee for the NaUKMA presidential election. The results have been recognized by the entire university’s community: the Academic Council and the university’s student organizations, the Alumni Association, and the Supervisory Board. A number of NaUKMA’s partners have endorsed the decision of the election commission. All this demonstrates absolute unity of the academic community regarding the results of the NaUKMA’s presidential election.

Nonetheless, the Minister of Education and Science Serhiy Shkarlet said that the election was not held in accordance with the procedure, and thus the ministry cannot accept its results. Under the terms of the laws in force, the Ministry of Education and Science (MES) has no power to either recognize results of an election at a university or not: if a candidate wins over 50% of votes, the MES is obliged to sign a contract with the winner of the election. Therefore, the attempt of the Minister of Education to interfere into the election process, or the endeavor to disregard the decision of the community (such as hasty and unlawful arrangement of a new contest or other actions), in our opinion, is a violation of the principle of university autonomy, and thus an attempt to restrict academic freedom.

PEN Ukraine demands from the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine to immediately complete the formal procedure for the signing of the contract with the elected president of the NaUKMA that the whole community of the university and its organizations insist on. We call on the Ukrainian media, human rights and other civil society organizations to stand up for the NaUKMA presidential election which took place on 27 January 2022.

Signatories of the statement (the list is being updated):

1. Myroslav Marynovych, publicist, Honorary President of PEN Ukraine
2. Mykola Riabchuk, writer, publicist, Honorary President of PEN Ukraine
3. Andriy Kurkov, writer, President of PEN Ukraine
4. Ola Hnatiuk, Vice President of PEN Ukraine, professor of NaUKMA
5. Ostap Slyvynsky, writer, Vice President of PEN Ukraine
6. Iryna Starovoyt, poet, associate professor at UCU’s Culture Department, member of PEN Ukraine Excecutive Board
7. Alim Aliev, human rights defender, journalist, curator of education and culture projects, member of PEN Ukraine Excecutive Board
8. Vitaly Portnikov, publicist
9. Igor Kozlovskyy, religious scholar, writer
10. Yaroslav Hrytsak, historian, professor at UCU
11. Serhiy Zhadan, writer
12. Anatoliy Dnistrovyi, writer, vlogger
13. Tetyana Teren, journalist, Executive Director of PEN Ukraine
14. Andrij Pavlyšyn, translator, historian
15. Volodymyr Yermolenko, philosopher, professor at the NaUKMA
16. Archbishop Ihor Isichnko, professor at the NaUKMA
17. Olena Styazhkina, writer, historian
18. Oleh Kotsarev, writer, journalist
19. Halyna Vdovychenko, writer
20. Svitlana Povalyaeva, writer
21. Stepan Protsiuk, writer
22. Oles Ilchenko, writer
23. Victoria Amelina, writer
24. Andriy Lyubka, writer
25. Voloymyr Kazarin, professor of the V.Vernadsky Taurida National University
26. Julia Musakovska, poet, translator, marketing and communications expert
27. Olena Pavlova, journalist, writer
28. Taras Lyuty, philosopher, professor at the NaUKMA
29. Yuri Vynnychuk, writer
30. Andriy Puchkov, art historian, professor at the NAOMA
31. Constantin Sigov, philosopher, professor at the NaUKMA
32. Kateryna Botanova, critic, curator, graduate of the NaUKMA
33. Anastasia Levkova, writer, editor, graduate of the NaUKMA
34. Taras Luchuk, literary scholar, translator, associate professor at the I.Franko Lviv National University
35. Yevhen Zakharov, human rights activist
36. Tetyana Ogarkova, literary scholar, professor at the NaUKMA
37. Olha Luchuk, associate professor at the I.Franko Lviv National University
38. Halyna Kruk, writer, literary scholar, associate professor at the I.Franko Lviv National University
39. Vakhtang Kebuladze, philosopher, publicist, translator, professor at the T.Shevchenko Kyiv National University
40. Andrij Bonar, author
41. Petro Yatsenko, writer
42. Rostyslav Semkiv, literary scholar, professor at the NaUKMA
43. Victor Morozov, translator
44. Andrij Wachtel, philosopher translator
45. Mark Robert Stech, writer, literary scholar, culturologist
46. Oksana Lutsyshyna, writer
47. Nathalie Beltchenko, poetess, translator
48. Mariya Tytarenko, docent of UCU’s School of Journalism and Communications of Ukrainian Catholic University
49. Diana Klochko, art historian, lecturer
50. Gulnara Bekirova, historian, PhD of political sciences
51. Yuri Matevoshchuk, poet, translator
52. Oksana Mamchenkova, project manager of PEN Ukraine
53. Oleksiy Panych, philosopher, translator
54. Romana Romanyshyn, author, artist
55. Andriy Lesiv, author, artist, researcher
56. Eleonora Solovey, literary scholar
57. Olha Mukha, manager, analyst
58. Maksym Sytnikov, project manager of PEN Ukraine
59. Dmytro Krapyvenko, jounalist, publicist, editor-in-chief of the "Ukrainian Week" magazine
60. Kateryna Kalytko, writer, graduate of the NaUKMA
61. Iryna Tsilyk, writer, film director, screenwriter
62. Olena Huseynova, radio host
63. Myroslava Barchuk, journalist
64. Olena Haleta, literary scholar, professor at the I.Franko Lviv National University and UCU

Appeals signed (the list is updated):

So far no one
February 3, 2022
1362
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