Rectorul Universității Danubius

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Prof. univ. dr. William B. Harvey

Rector

williamharvey@univ-danubius.ro

AAAED Conference Panel

Diverse Issues in Higher Education Podcast on Critical Race Theory

The Debate About Critical Race Theory - Implications for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace
Community of Scholars Opening Day Presentation

Let me start with the question that I’m sure some of you want to ask me and that is ,,What are you doing here?” except that I know Romanians are very polite, so you would probably say something like ,,Why did you come all the way from America to lead a Romanian university?”

Well, the short answer is, because it’s not just any university. Its Danubius. 

The long answer is that I believe I can help the university gain greater recognition and stature on the international stage.

I’m not exactly a stranger to Danubius.  I was first here eight years ago when I participated in an international conference, which was organized by my good friend Dr. Steve O. Michael, who is also the current vice chair of our board of trustees, but unfortunately couldn’t be here with us today.

It was during that visit that I met Andy Pusca, who was then the Rector of the university.  Andy shared with me his wishes to make Danubius into a more international institution, and his desire to have stronger connections with American institutions and organizations.  We have continued to be in contact through the years, and when the Rectors position became available, both Steve and Andy suggested that I should become a candidate. 

I admit to being a little hesitant at first, not because I didn’t think I could do the job – you know Americans, they think they can do anything.  My hesitation was based on the fact that all of us were in a pandemic, obviously we still are, and no one could be certain about what that meant for the future of higher education – at Danubius or anyplace else in the world. 

We were in a period where zoom instruction and zoom administration was the norm and no one could be sure when, or if, we would return to our campuses.  

Well now, here we are, starting a new academic year.  The pandemic still hovers over us, but we are preparing to start a new year in person – and it’s a year that brings with it new opportunities and interesting possibilities.

I have spent nearly my entire life in the American higher education system.  I have held positions in nine different colleges and universities and I have learned something from each of those jobs.  The American system of higher education is generally regarded to be the best in the world and I want to bring some of the approaches that work in that system here to Danubius.

At the same time, I want to be careful not to lose the Romanian flavour and character of the university.  One phrase that we are using to describe that balance at Danubius is, “American spirit, Romanian style”, to show that we intend to be the best of both worlds.  But we also have another motto that we use to identify Danubius – we are the university that bridges the East and the West.  We are positioned, both geographically and philosophically to be the international university that brings two different sectors of the world together, and that is why I am here.

When I talk to my colleagues about the kind of changes that I want to see take place so that Danbius can be recognized around the world as a great university, some of them agree with me, and frankly, some of them have doubts.  The doubters say that they are not sure that my vision and plans for Danubius will work, but they say it in Romanian so they don’t hurt my feelings.  But that’s okay – I love them anyway.

Making changes can be hard – I know that – but I’m confident that the changes we will be making together, as faculty and staff and students and alumni and friends of the university, will make the name of Danubius University well known, not just throughout Europe, but throughout the world.

I want us to set high goals for ourselves, both individually and collectively, and then for us to meet and exceed those goals. As we start this new year, let us do so with confidence and drive, with determination and expectations of success.

Just yesterday my friends were explaining to me that it is part of the Romanian character to be modest, and I respect that, but at Danubius, we are going to find a way to be comfortable with being modest and great at the same time.

I will not ask of you more than you can achieve.  I will not expect from you more than you can deliver.  But, as we start this new year, I ask that we do so with the recognition that our capabilities sometimes exceed what others see in us, and indeed, sometimes even what we see in ourselves.

So, at Danubius, today and tomorrow, and into the future, we can and we will establish new partnerships.  We can and we will initiate new programs and activities.  We can and we will further develop and expand a supportive environment in which our students and faculty can learn together and grow together, so they can contribute to our community and to our world, and we will support and recognize our alumni as they distinguish themselves as caring and concerned citizens of that world

You ask me, Why did I come to Danubius?  I answer, To share in your greatness in this community of scholars. 

Let’s start today. 

Multumesc!

 

Dr. William B. Harvey,

Rector of Danubius University

Evenimente internaționale

26-28 august

Meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (USA)

Rector Harvey is the founding president of the organization

22-24 septembrie
13-16 octombrie

Dragi prieteni și colegi:

Sunt onorat și copleșit deoarece am fost ales să servesc în calitate de Rector al Universității Danubius, în acest moment în care instituția merge curajos înspre îndeplinirea misiunii sale de universitate europeană modernă, dinamică și antreprenorială, perfect adaptată societății contemporane. Pe măsură ce lumea reușește să iasă din umbra marii pandemii, criza de sănătate și cea economică pe care le-am întâlnit fac mai important ca niciodată rolul instituțiilor de învățământ superior de a oferi oportunități pentru conexiuni globale care vor dezvolta înțelegerea și deschiderea ce trec dincolo de frontiere și de naționalități. Danubius are o poziție unică, atât spiritual cât și geografic, din care poate răspunde provocărilor și oportunităților acestui moment favorabil în calitate de centru internațional de predare, cercetare și serviciu și construind o punte academică între Europa și comunitatea globală. 

Am întâlnit acest sentiment de speranță și această energie a universității la prima mea vizită în campus atunci când am participat la o conferință internațională pe tema globalizării învățământului superior în 2013.  Intensitatea discuțiilor academice, cu participarea activă a profesorilor din întreaga lume a fost memorabilă, alături de prietenia și căldura împărtășite de comunitatea universitară și de toată zona din jur. A fost clar pentru mine, încă de la prima întâlnire, că Danubius era o instituție specială și rămâne așa și astăzi. 

Acum, când mă întorc la universitate în postura de Rector, îmi asum responsabilitatea de a extinde conexiunile deja stabilite cu restul comunității internaționale prin implicarea atentă a studenților, a cadrelor didactice, a absolvenților și a prietenilor universității.  Din păcate, coronavirusul îmi va limita abilitatea de a-mi desfășura activitatea în campus în prezent, dar mă voi implica în funcționarea universității, împreună cu personalul, prin utilizarea zoom, what’s app, a email-ului, și a altor metode virtuale și electronice.  Atributele calității și profesionalismului sunt deja adânc înrădăcinate în această instituție și vor continua să ne ghideze aspirațiile întrucât aceasta este o universitate care, încă de la început, a cultivat excelența și inovația. Vedem un viitor promițător pentru acest “Diamant de pe Dunăre” în drumul său spre fructificarea oportunităților și provocărilor ce i se vor prezenta în anii ce vin.

Veniți alături de noi în efortul nostru de a construi un viitor mai bun pentru omenire.

 

Cu sinceritate,

William B. Harvey

Rector

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