In her speech attended by the regional minister, she assured that higher education must be governed by the principle of "social profitability".
Along with the UA President, the entire governing team took office at a ceremony held in the Auditorium in a dual format, onsite and online
Alicante, Tuesday 23 March 2021
The first words of Amparo Navarro's speech after her inauguration as the President of the University of Alicante went for the victims of the coronavirus. The ceremony, presided over by regional minister Ximo Puig, was held in the UA Auditorium with a limited capacity due to the health restrictions imposed by the pandemic. However, the event could be followed live on the Internet. During the ceremony, all the members of the governing team, who will accompany the first female president in the history of the University of Alicante during the next term of office, were also sworn in.
In her first official speech after the formal inauguration, Navarro showed her support to the victims of the coronavirus and to the people who are suffering the economic and social consequences associated with it. She addressed the different groups that make up the University of Alicante and outlined her university project for each of them. Navarro thanked the previous UA president and his team, of which she was also a member, for their work, and she has vindicated the role of public service that should be inherent to universities.
The new president has been forceful with the idea that she defends: a university based on democracy, participation, inclusion and equality. According to her, a university should help us out of the health, economic and social crisis we are experiencing through research and knowledge transfer. She also called for teaching quality, research excellence, student employability and a modern, technological and cutting-edge university, which is the driving force of our surrounding environment and which brings it together. A well-funded university that meets essential needs effectively and efficiently, she added.
In turn, regional minister Ximo Puig was in charge of closing the event and highlighted the important role of the new UA president in the Valencian academic and social panorama. The future today has a woman's name, he said, describing the new president as a person of great intellectual solvency. With her election, the scales are tipped with great symbolism towards equality and there are already more women presidents than men in the Valencian region today. Puig insisted that the election of Amparo Navarro is the result of the long struggle of women to be given their rightful place, a road along which we still have many miles to travel. This is just one more step towards combating the vertical discrimination that still exists in universities, where there are more female students than men, but very few of them have access to the main academic and representative positions. Still addressing the UA president, Ximo Puig confessed that there is a collective pride about her contribution to shattering another ceiling glass. Her appointment, he stated, is a symbol of a new time in which women add up to build a plural future based on equality.
The regional minister highlighted the role of universities as great allies for our region, especially in the last year, as they have proved more than ever their capacity and solvency to combat the pandemic.
Challenges and objectives
The UA President’s speech served to point out four challenges that the University of Alicante must face: health, as a basic principle of action by public authorities; digital transformation; ecological transition; and feminist and equality-based revolution.
In her speech, Amparo Navarro undertook the commitment to fulfil the objectives set and to be accountable for them. She also assured that the university should not be governed by the principle of business profit, but by the principle of social profitability.
In this sense, she highlighted some aspects that could be improved in order to adapt the University of Alicante to the real demands of students and public service, which she summarised as ensuring their chances of continuing studies, improving their learning conditions, seeking solutions to the real issues of university life and, above all, increasing their employability.
She also called for a face-to-face approach where teaching innovation models adequately combine new technologies with face-to-face teaching, interaction and teamwork. She referred to both the academic and research staff and the administration and services staff with three objectives: to train new generations of academicians and scientists; to stabilise the workforce and reduce temporary precarious teaching positions; and to promote pre-doctoral and post-doctoral research positions. With regard to the administrative and service staff, Navarro pointed out the importance of digitising procedures to simplify management; promoting customised training and teleworking, as well as measures aimed at balancing personal and family life.
Fight for recognitions
When it comes to claiming, Navarro stressed the importance of university funding plans taking into account the results of research and teaching quality. Funding should be increased in the post-doctoral stage and an unlimited research career should be envisaged, allowing research work to be carried out under decent economic and working conditions. The UA President praised the creation of an expert committee to study the financing of universities by the regional ministry, which we think should make decisions about these problems.
The UA President offered her support for medical studies at the University of Alicante and once again called for vaccination against the coronavirus for university teaching staff.
The Science Park was also featured in Navarro's speech, which she presented as another of the great challenges for the coming years as it is the great R&D+i laboratory for the productive and social fabric
Navarro began her speech with a reference to the victims of the coronavirus and also highlighted the unusual journey into the unknown that the outbreak of the pandemic entailed and the fact that the University of Alicante was once again up to the task, quickly moving to online teaching, teleworking, online cultural events, offering a community services for those in need and the efforts of all teachers, researchers, administration and services staff and students.
The UA President also had words of gratitude for former president Palomar and his team who had to face this crisis beyond the time they had committed to our institution and also to the other presidential candidate Cabezuelo and his team, who, like mine, did not take a step backwards in their commitment to steering the ship out of troubled waters.
A highly-qualified team
The ceremony held this Tuesday in the Auditorium also served for the University of Alicante governing council members to take office before the UA Presidnt, who received the promise of each of them, starting with Registrar Esther Algarra. The newly appointed president highlighted the high qualification of each member of her team for the positions they are going to hold and their absolute involvement and commitment to the institution.
After the Registrar, Vice President for Research Juan Mora Pastor took office, followed by Vice President for Academic and Faculty Affairs Luis Alfonso Martínez Giner; Vice President for Infrastructures, Sustainability and Workplace Safety Salvador Ivorra Chorro; Vice President for Economic and Strategic Planning Ángel Sánchez Sánchez; Vice President for International Relations and Development Cooperation Rosa María Martínez Espinosa; Vice President for Students and Employability Rosario Ferrer Cascales; Vice President for Study Programmes, Quality Assurance and Languages Francisco Torres Alfosea; Vice President for Knowledge Transfer, Innovation and Dissemination Mª Jesús Pastor Llorca; Vice President for Culture, Sports and Extracurricular Activities Catalina Iliescu Gheorghiu; Vice President for Digital Transformation Rafael Molina Carmona; Vice President for Equality, Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility Eva Espinar Ruiz; and also Comptroller Francesc Vañó.
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