Boğaziçi University’s contested rector appoints himself acting faculty dean
The rector of Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University has appointed himself as the acting dean of the institute’s Faculty of Arts and Science after dismissing the incumbent dean, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.
Naci İnci, appointed to the prestigious university over the summer to by government decree, will be filling in as acting dean for Özlem Berk Albachten, the newspaper said.
İnci’s appointment in August arrived following months-long protests over the appointment of a government loyalist rector, Melih Bulu. Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK) appointed the 56-year-old as the new rector, despite the lack of support for Bulu by Boğaziçi academics.
Students and faculty maintain the election of a rector by presidential decree goes against the university’s long-standing tradition of electing its own administrators from among senior faculty members, a move they say is part of a government chokehold over academia.
Last month, Özlem Berk Albachten, along with the dean of two other departments, were removed from office by the appointed rectorate upon a YÖK decision. The academics were not given a reason for their dismissals.
İnci on Monday took to Twitter to say that the new appointments were temporary and all three faculties would propose alternative candidates to YÖK for the appointment of the deans.
Üniversitemizde dekanlıklara yapılan görevlendirmeler geçici ve vekaleten yapılan görevlendirmelerdir. En kısa zamanda 3 fakültemize dekan atamaları yapılması için Rektörlüğümüz YÖK’e alternatif isimleri bildirecektir.— M. Naci İnci (@MNaciinci) February 1, 2022
Boğaziçi University academics have for over a year expressed their dismay problems that have emerged at the institute, following Bulu‘s appointment to the university by a decision of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on January 2, 2021.