Minutes of the Rector’s Meeting

No. 524
11.05.2022

    Current issues with organising the teaching and learning process

    Over the past week, the Virtual Reception received five enquiries addressed to the Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities. Additionally, nine enquiries were registered in the student enquiry register. The enquiries were on various topics, including: the possibility of using the text of the graduation project for writing a dissertation.

    As Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities, said, since 24 February 2022, enquiries were received from 118 persons with a request to be transferred to St Petersburg University from a university abroad. Three enquiries on this topic were registered over the past week. The University systematically works with applicants in this area. In accordance with Decree, № 434 of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 21 March 2022, and the letter № MN-5/927-DA of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation dated 1 March 2022, St Petersburg University accepts applications for academic transfer of citizens of Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic, and the Lugansk People’s Republic; Russian citizens who were forced to leave Ukraine, the Donetsk People’s Republic, and the Lugansk People’s Republic and arrived at the Russian Federation; and Russian citizens who have expressed a desire to transfer from foreign higher education institutions in the countries that are included in the list approved by Order № 430-r of the Government of the Russian Federation due to the unfriendly actions. Orders were issued on academic transfer and enrolment in relation to 14 students from a foreign higher education institution. Another 14 applicants were admitted to classes at St Petersburg University for the duration of registering for the academic transfer.

    According to information from the heads of most academic and research subdivisions, classes and tests are held according to the timetable in the prescribed manner.

    Meetings with students (representatives of student councils, student scientific societies and heads of academic groups) were not held by some heads of the academic and research subdivisions over the past week, while many subdivisions held such meetings.

    On 4 May 2022, the meeting was held between Ivan Uralov, Senior Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts, with the representatives of student activists. At the meeting, it was noted that no adjustments were required in relation to organising the teaching and learning process.

    On 4 May 2022, the meeting was held between Andrei Ivanov, Acting Director of the Institute of History, with the chairperson of the Student Council and heads of academic groups. At the meeting, students were reminded of the need to participate in the survey on the quality of education in the 2021/22 academic year in accordance with Order № 1614/1r "On conducting a survey of students on satisfaction with the conditions for the implementation of the teaching and learning process in academic programmes" dated 26 April 2022.

    The meetings with student activists were held by the heads of the Faculty of Physics; the Faculty of Economics (minutes of the meetings are not formalised and not submitted for publication); the Faculty of Foreign Languages (minutes of the meetings are not formalised and not submitted for publication); the Faculty of Philology, the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Medical Technologies (minutes of the meetings are not formalised and not submitted for publication).

    Tatiana Zhidkikh, Director of the College of Physical Training and Sports, Economics and Technology, held a meeting with student activists and students to discuss the issues in relation to organising the training session on the discipline "Life Safety". In accordance with the timetable, students began the training session on 4 May 2022.

    Anna Germer, Head of the Medical College, told about the active work of the student scientific society and the Student Council of the Medical College. This is based on the results of interaction with students.

    St Petersburg University is included in the list of the organisations to provide methodological support in research and education for educational activities in the implementation of general educational programmes in accordance with the Federal State Educational Standard of General Education

    In October 2021, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation (Order № 732 dated 25 October 2021) announced the process of selecting organisations to provide methodological support in research and education for educational activities in the implementation of general educational programmes in accordance with the Federal State Educational Standard of General Education. As Elvira Zeletdinova, Vice-Rector for Teaching Methods, St Petersburg University presented a programme of methodological support in research and (or) education for educational activities. The programme was prepared by the Institute of Pedagogy under the guidance of the Director of the Institute, Professor Elena Kazakova.

    During the process of selection, the programmes of methodological support in research and education for educational activities submitted by the applicants were analysed across objective criteria. Additionally, the programmes were assessed in terms of compliance with the Federal State Educational Standards of General Education; exemplary degree programmes; and national goals and strategic objectives of the development of the Russian Federation in the field of education.

    On 1 March 2022, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation informed about the completion of the selection process. As part of the work to improve the mechanisms to provide methodological support in research and education for educational activities and following the results of the selection by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, a list of the organisations was approved. The list includes the organisations to provide methodological support in research and education for educational activities in the implementation of basic general education programmes in accordance with the Federal State Educational Standard of General Education. St Petersburg University is one of these organisations.

    Elvira Zeletdinova emphasised that methodological support in research and education for educational activities in the state educational organisations of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and municipal educational organisations that carry out educational activities in the degree programmes should be carried out only by the organisations that were included in this list.

    St Petersburg University has the opportunity to directly participate in the improvement of the mechanisms to provide methodological support in research and education for educational activities. These mechanisms are aimed at satisfying the requirements of the Federal State Educational Standards of General Education in accordance with the national goals and strategic objectives of the development of the Russian Federation in the field of education.

    Elena Kazakova, Director of the Institute of Pedagogy, noted that the inclusion of St Petersburg University in the list of the Ministry of Education will enable the following: organising further research in schools; introducing textbooks; introducing methodological programmes; and conducting pedagogical practices. For various reasons, this list could not include a number of large educational organisations (for example, the National Research University Higher School of Economics); charitable foundations; and well-known commercial organisations. Colleagues from other universities and commercial organisations should ask St Petersburg University to provide methodological support in research and education for educational activities in schools. Directors and deans are instructed to submit proposals to help partners in the regions of Russia.

    Publication of fake information in communities on social networks

    At the Rector’s meeting on 4 May 2022, it was discussed that the Head of the Main Department for Intellectual Property Use and Protection sent a claim to a student who is a so-called "editor-in-chief" of the community on the social network VKontakte. The claim demands ‘to immediately stop using individualisation means of St Petersburg University, including its name and the names of its structural subdivisions’.

    As Aleksandr Babich, Senior Vice-Rector for Youth Policy and Admissions, said, this claim was sent due to the fact that this community often posted fake information about the University. The community is positioned as a resource of the Institute of History and uses the name of the University and the name of the Institute of History without relevant permissions.

    Over the last week, the Virtual Reception received two enquiries ("Have the rules for admission to a master’s programme changed?" and "Do I need permission to participate in a grant competition of a foreign university?"). These enquiries were caused by publishing false information in the above-mentioned community on the social network VKontakte. The Virtual Reception provided answers to these questions with the necessary explanations.

    Aleksandr Babich once again drew the attention of the University students to the fact that the use of unreliable information obtained from unofficial sources in most cases could lead to negative consequences for those who used this kind of information. Additionally, the use of unreliable information does not guarantee the protection of the rights and legitimate interests of those who use unreliable information.

    The meeting participants recalled that the St Petersburg University Ethics Committee received an enquiry from Professor Vladimir Vasilik. The enquiry contained a request to ‘check the actions of Polina Tareeva for compliance with the moral character of the university student’ (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 4 May 2022).

    Violations committed by the St Petersburg University staff of the provisions of the legislation of the Russian Federation, local acts of St Petersburg University, employment agreements, and other documents

    Since 1 April 2022, 33 violations have been recorded. For each violation, an internal investigation was carried out, and appropriate measures were taken (for comparison: there were 20 violations in the first quarter of 2021).

    As Vladimir Eremeev, Vice-Rector for Human Resources, noted, the nature of some violations is repeated. Among them is smoking on the premises of the University. The remark was announced to the senior lecturer at the Faculty of Philology, Murias Carracedo Rosan and the driver of the car service Mr Andreev.

    The St Petersburg University officials continue to be punished for improper performance of their duties. For the absence from the workplace without a good reason, the specialists of the organisational department, Ms Timofeeva (reprimand) and Ms Ivanova (remark), were punished.

    A notorious case of violation of the internal labour regulations occurred on 8 April 2022. A group of workers on the premises of the College of Physical Training and Sports, Economics and Technology at St Petersburg University organised a celebration of the anniversary of Aleksandr Parkhomenko, Head of the Care and Maintenance Department № 3, and used alcoholic beverages. Among the participants was Ms Bibikova. Being in a strong alcoholic intoxication, she received an injury incompatible with life on the premises of the University. All St Petersburg University employees engaged were severely punished in the form of a reprimand. The organisers (Aleksandr Parkhomenko, Head of Maintenance and Operation Department No 3, and the cloakroom attendant Mr Sidelnik) were dismissed from St Petersburg University.

    Unfortunately, there are violations of labour discipline by the University academic staff. Vladimir Eremeev recalled that on 11 April 2022 (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 11 April 2022) it was reported that Aleksandra Koroleva, a research engineer at the Research Park at St Petersburg University, had unauthorisedly connected to a power outlet for refuelling her personal vehicle (an electric car). The technical possibility of charging the car was provided by the researcher of the Faculty of Physics, Aleksandr Ievlev. He arbitrarily had installed the necessary extension cord, and therefore was reprimanded.

    A significant number of violations were recorded during the verification of compliance with the timetable of classes by the University academic staff. The most common violation is conducting classes in a remote format using information and telecommunication technologies. Yet, following the suggestions submitted by the heads of the academic and research subdivisions, the teaching and learning process in these subdivisions was transferred to an in-person format. For non-compliance with the timetable of classes, remarks were announced to the academic staff of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies: Svetlana Kramarova, Mariia Smirnova, Igor Bazilenko, Aleksandr Zdanevich, Natalia Makeeva; academic staff of the Faculty of Philology: Elena Nikolaeva, Natalia Mamaeva, Iaroslava Novikova; Assistant Lecturer of the Faculty of Applied Mathematics and Control Process Nikita Uzhegov; Assistant Professor of the Institute of Philosophy Sergei Troitskiy; academic staff of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences Andrei Rodin, Alena Zhukova, Daniil Kotsiubinskii.

    As it has been repeatedly noted, following the results of the appropriate checks in relation to the violators, a decision is made, taking into account the severity of the misconduct, the circumstances under which it was committed, and the previous behaviour of the employee and his/her attitude to work. Vladimir Eremeev drew attention to the fact that the presence of an unresolved disciplinary sanction was taken into account when assigning incentive payments based on the results of the work. Recurrent violations can lead to the dismissal of employees.

    Opening the Centre for the study, preservation, restoration and actualisation of cultural heritage sites

    In order to develop the research and educational environment of St Petersburg University in the field of Humanities and applied solutions to the field of History and Culture, the University opened the research and educational centre for the study, preservation and restoration of cultural heritage objects.

    As Anastasia Yarmosh, Vice-Rector for Strategic Development and Partnership, said, the initiators to open the centre were the Department of Museum Management and Historical Monuments Preservation at the Institute of Philosophy at St Petersburg University and the Department of Restoration at the Faculty of Arts at St Petersburg University.

    The centre is set to provide expert evaluations, consulting services, and research restoration of objects of tangible and intangible cultural and historical heritage. It will also focus on the historical and documentary study of cultural heritage objects in order to prepare reasonable proposals for their further use in the form of reconstruction, improvement, restoration, conservation, and museumification. Additionally, it will identify, conduct a historical and documentary study, and mark memorable places associated with the life and activity of the outstanding University students and staff.

    The centre will consolidate a wide range of University competencies in research, expert evaluations, and education in such areas as museology, history, cultural studies, art history, historical regional studies, tourism, restoration, and environmental design. It will form an optimal modern system for responding to requests from partner organisations to implement interdisciplinary projects on historical and cultural topics.

    Anastasia Yarmosh noted that St Petersburg University also established the Centre for the study of legal issues of cultural heritage preservation and legal support of museum activities (The Centre for the study of legal issues of cultural heritage preservation and legal support of museum activities at St Petersburg University). The centres are set to cooperate. Working groups will be created from experts in various fields to solve specific problems.

    As an example, the participants of the meeting recalled the case when a graduate of St Petersburg University submitted an enquiry to the University (at the relevant department) for providing assistance in conducting an examination of the project for using beach sand in Anapa town for construction purposes. He was told that the experts in the department did not have the competence to solve this problem. When this graduate submitted the same enquiry to the University administration, a working group of experts (geologists, lawyers, ecologists and other experts) was created.

    The directors and deans were instructed to inform the staff of the institutes and faculties about the work of the two centres. In case of external enquiries, they should be submitted to the heads of these centres to create working groups.

    International activities

    At recent Rector’s meetings, the international activities of St Petersburg University were analysed (Minutes of the Rector’s meeting dated 14 March 2022, 11 April 2022, 18 April 2022, 25 April 2022, and 4 May 2022). According to Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, a number of new events took place last week.

    Open lecture as part of the activities of the St Petersburg University’s Representative Office in Spain

    On 3 May 2022, as part of the activities of the St Petersburg University Representative Office in Spain (Barcelona), an online lecture "Boris Pasternak, Zinaida Neuhaus, Olga Ivinskaya" was held as part of the series of conferences "The Story of One Love". The lecture was delivered by Anna Silyunas, Director of the St Petersburg University Representative Office in Spain, theatre critic, art critic and Director of the foundation "House of Russia in Barcelona".

    Online presentation of the collection ‘Persian Diplomatic Documents from the Times of Shah Safi I from the Collection of the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts’ for the University of Tehran

    On 4 May 2022, within the framework of the activities of the Centre for the Study of the Islamic Republic of Iran at St Petersburg University hosted a presentation of the collection "Persian Diplomatic Documents from the Times of Shah Safi I from the Collection of the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts" for the University of Tehran (Correspondence between the Shah and the Tsar, treasure islands and petitions: a unique collection of Persian diplomatic documents presented at St Petersburg University). The unique collection was published as part of the Russian Science Foundation project. The collection was prepared by St Petersburg University.

    The project team includes: Artem Andreev, Director of the Centre for the Study of the Islamic Republic of Iran at St Petersburg University and Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnopolitology at St Petersburg University; Olga Yastrebova, Associate Professor in the Department of Persian Philology; Timur Slesarev, Chief Librarian in the M Gorky Scientific Library of St Petersburg University; Maryam Rezvan, Head of the Department of Central Asia at the Peter of the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Ekaterina Pischurnikova, Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Persian Philology; Sergei Kostikov, Research Associate at the Institute of History at St Petersburg University; and Dina Kopaneva; Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Slavic and Balkan Countries. The Principal Investigator of the project "The Documentary History of the Russian Strand of Safavid Diplomacy (1501-1722)" is Vladimir Shorokhov, Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Regional Studies at St Petersburg University. The collection was published as part of this project.

    The historiography of Russian-Safavid relations covers only the period until 1621. a large body of documents, reflecting not only Iran-Russia relations, but also the culture of the Safavid state, remained unpublished. This was the reason to bring together orientalists, historians, and philologists in order to create this collection.

    The overwhelming majority of the texts introduced into research circulation are the documents from the Iranian embassies and trade missions. Among them are inventories of goods and gifts, firmans, petitions, and Shah Safi’s letters addressed to Mikhail Fedorovich Romanov, the first Russian Tsar of the House of Romanov.

    The collection contains the original texts of most of the documents of the period under consideration in the Persian and Turkic languages. These texts are kept in the funds of the Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts.

    The presentation took place in an online format. The Iranian side was represented by the deans and professors at the University of Tehran. During the meeting, a number of issues were raised. As a result, a proposal was made to hold a conference together with historians of other countries (including Russian and Iranian) in order to examine the documents of the Safavid era.

    Briefing of the working groups for the implementation of academic programmes in a network form on the basis of the joint campus of St Petersburg University and Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin

    On 5 May 2022, a briefing of the working groups for the implementation of academic programmes in a network form was held at the joint campus of St Petersburg University and Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin (the People’s Republic of China). The meeting was attended by Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs; Marina Lavrikova, Senior Vice-Rector for Academic Activities; Elvira Zeletdinova, Vice-Rector for Teaching Methods; Irina Balova, Director of the Institute of Chemistry; Aleksandr Razov, Dean of the Mechanics and Mathematics Faculty; Aleksei Titov, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Physics; and representatives of working groups in the relevant fields of study.

    During the meeting, the participants were informed about the results of the negotiations between the Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev and the President of Harbin Institute of Technology Han Jiecai, the construction of a joint campus in Harbin, the format for the implementation of academic programmes of St Petersburg University and Harbin Institute of Technology in a network form. Kick-off meetings of the three working groups will be organised online from 11 to 13 May.

    St. Petersburg regional stage of "The Chinese Bridge" contest

    On 6 May 2022, the St Petersburg regional stage of "The Chinese Bridge" contest was held in an online format. The annual contest is traditionally held by St Petersburg University in cooperation with the Chinese Consulate General in St Petersburg. Five winners of the regional stage will take part in the Russian-wide round of the competition. The final round will be held in an online format in China. The winners will receive scholarships to study at universities in China. The participants of the meeting congratulated the fourth-year student of St Petersburg University on her victory in the regional round (Students of St Petersburg University perform well in the regional stage of "The Chinese Bridge" contest).

    The Ambassador of South Africa to head the Academic Programme Council of St Petersburg University

    On 26 April 2022, The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa Mzuvukile Jeff Maketuka and Honorary Consul of South Africa in St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region Vladimir Borisenko have visited St Petersburg University.

    The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa, Mzuvukile Jeff Maketuka, paid special attention to the Council of the mater’s programme "World Politics". In 2021, during the last reception, the Rector of St Petersburg University made an offer for the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa to chair the Council of the master’s programme in World Politics. The Ambassador thanked the Rector for the invitation to head the Academic Programme Council. He was introduced to how the academic programme councils worked. The Ambassador expressed his readiness to attract experts from South Africa, especially retired diplomats and former heads of international organisations who had extensive experience in international work. During the meeting, the diplomat confirmed his decision to head the Council of the academic programme in World Politics.

    Organising the work of the Virtual Reception

    It was decided that when the Virtual Reception receives enquiries on the issues related to the activities of academic and research subdivisions at St Petersburg University, these enquiries will be further submitted for information to the heads of the relevant subdivisions through the Electronic Document Management System "Delo". If necessary, the head of the subdivision can take part in the preparation of a response to the enquiry.

    Competition of the projects of a commemorative sign "To the Lost Book"

    From 23 April to 15 December 2022, St Petersburg University will host a competition for designs for a commemorative sign, "To the Lost Book". The competition is held in the memory of the lost valuable book editions. It is a sign of respect for the selfless work of librarians who store and save books to publicly recognise the value of the book as the main source and means of transferring knowledge by the university community.

    The St Petersburg University students, academic staff, and administrative staff are invited to participate. The regulations on the competition and rules of participation are posted on the University website. The placement of the memorial sign is planned on the territory of the main campus on Vasilyevsky Island.

    On behalf of the Rector, St Petersburg University has been systematically working to return books to readers for more than ten years. Over the years, more than a million books have been returned to the library. However, it is not possible to return all stolen, missing, or not returned books by readers. A significant part of the books died as a result of the criminal attitude of the University officials regarding the organisation of storage, transportation, and treatment of books.

    It is impossible to say what exact number of publications from the library’s funds were lost between the early 1990s and 2008. Only from the books placed by the decision of the University in the flooded basement of the Jeu-de-Paume buildng, 3,021 copies of publications issued between 1806 and 1946 died.

    Voting for the best corporate identity dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the University

    Eight corporate identity projects for the anniversary of the oldest university in Russia were submitted by four teams of designers. These projects were presented to the University students for voting. Following the voting results, the best project will be chosen. You can get acquainted with the concepts at the exhibition in the gallery of the building of the Twelve Collegia. You can also learn more on social networks and on the University website.

    To ensure maximum objectivity, the names of the designers of the projects submitted as part of the voting were hidden. The security and confidentiality of the procedure for choosing the best solution are ensured by "CryptoVeche", a remote voting system, developed by the Distributed Ledger Technologies Centre of St Petersburg University. Every student and employee of the University can take part in the voting. You need to register via the link using a corporate login and password. If you are not a student or an employee of St Petersburg University, you can also vote by clicking on the link.

    As a reminder, on 24 September 2021, St Petersburg University held a meeting of the Organising Committee for the preparation and celebration of the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg University. During the meeting, it was decided to approve the draft plan of the main events for the preparation and celebration of the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg University. The first point of the approved plan is the development of a corporate identity for the anniversary of the oldest university in Russia.

    As a result of consultations with directors and deans of the relevant institutes and faculties and the Alumni Office, a preliminary list of the Russian design studios for participation in the corporate identity competition was determined. Additionally, the Department of Design and the Department of Public Relations at St Petersburg University are also developing their own project.

    In February 2022, a working group was formed to select concepts for creating a corporate identity for the anniversary. The group was chaired by Elena Chernova, Senior Vice-Rector. The working group considered the presentations of the University departments and companies involved. A detailed analysis of the presented options was carried out and a proposal was formed to organise an exhibition of design projects and public discussion in the university environment.

    The work of the exhibition and online voting will last until 31 May 2022.