Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Laws are to be kept, aren't they?

Bulgarian law doesn't allow university teachers who are past retirement age to occupy faculty positions such as Head of department, Dean or Rector.
I wouldn't like to go into detail why this restriction is a vital safeguard against the natural gerontophilia of the academic system. This would mean to explain that the law must be kept because it is good. However, laws must be kept regardless of being good or bad, in our interest or against it.
The Dean of the Faculty Law and History of Neofit Rilski Southwestern University, Prof. Alexander Vodenicharov, was born in 1940 and, hence, has been entitled to retirement for years. He must resign from his position immediately. There are allegations that he has broken the law also in other ways, but I wouldn't comment them because I am too far from the Southwestern University and have no first-hand information.
I know about this story from the blog of Svetla Encheva, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology of the Southwestern University. I hadn't the intention to write about these events because they didn't seem important enough to me (unfortunately, there are much more outrageous things happening in Bulgaria). However, I couldn't help putting my twopence after I saw Svetla being bashed again and again for daring to write in her personal blog that laws must be kept.
Most suppliers of obscenities are, predictably, anonymous. But it makes me sad that some colleagues of Svetla, instead of looking at the elephant in the room (i.e. the Dean's illegitimacy), accuse her in violation of ethics because of the things she wrote in her personal blog. The blog of the Department of Sociology, which was written also by Svetla, fell victim to the conflict.
To back a lawbreaker, however strong he may be at the moment, means to bet on a lame horse. Even in Bulgaria. I hope that the teachers of the Southwestern University who are doing this will soon realize their mistake.
I also hope that they and not I will be wrong at the end of the day.

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