The backstory of an announcement
It's a routine in journalism; I regularly read the Official Gazette and take notes. As I was about to wrap up 2023, an announcement caught my eye.
I have many friends from Eskişehir. Strangely enough, regardless of their different professions, they all seem to share similar grievances. While I praise the city, they talk about the issues at Eskişehir Osmangazi University.
Naturally, when I saw an announcement from the university in the Official Gazette, I paid attention and called my friends, some of whom are academics. After exchanging New Year's wishes, I heard numerous complaints.
These ears have heard it all:
Five department heads at the university had resigned.
Vice-rectors were constantly reprimanding the deans.
The university owed millions of lira to the Social Security Institution (SGK).
In international reports measuring academic performance, the university had fallen hundreds of ranks.
A chief physician was forced to leave the university due to pressure from AKP members over a photo with a heart sign.
Which one should I write about?
In short, there is talk of constant chaos at Eskişehir Osmangazi University under the management of Rector Prof. Dr. Kamil Çolak. Moreover, a new confusion seemed imminent, indicated by the announcement in the Official Gazette.
‘DO YOU KNOW WHO MY FRIEND IS?’
For example, they say...
A research assistant position was to be filled in the economic history department of the faculty of economics and administrative sciences. The application requirement stated in the announcement was: “Graduate of the faculty of economics and administrative sciences or the faculty of political sciences, economics department, and currently pursuing a master's degree with a thesis or a doctorate in economic history.”
Hearing this, I naturally asked, “What's wrong with that?”
The people I spoke to continued:
“This position needs to be scrutinized in advance. It's likely for a doctoral student from Marmara University since there aren't many doctoral programs in this sub-discipline in the country.”
I heard that now a major fight and unrest were happening at the university over this position. This department's need for staff had long been ignored. Amidst this, there were talks of a professor pushing for this position to hire an assistant for himself, even clashing with the university administration.
But that's not all...
It's even claimed that this professor threatened, “If the rector doesn’t do as I say, the head of YÖK is my friend, I'll make him do it.”
It doesn't end there... The head of the economics department resigned due to this position being created contrary to procedures and needs. Not over yet, Dean Prof. Dr. Arzum Çelik also resigned but was persuaded by the rector to return.
It is said that the person to be appointed to the research assistant position advertised in the Official Gazette was predetermined and that this position, opened for a department ignored for about 10 years, would be used outside of the department's needs.
It seems that the half-century-old university is experiencing its worst days. Public resources and positions, which should be carefully managed, are being wasted. Let me end with a unanimous lament from everyone I spoke to: “Good morning!”