Thousands Sign Letter against Honorary Doctorate for Zagreb Mayor Bandić

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 15, 2019 – Over 3,100 professors, students and alumni of the University of Zagreb have signed an open letter against a proposal by the Zagreb Academy of Music to award Mayor Milan Bandić an honorary doctorate of Zagreb University, and three initiators of the campaign against Bandić’s honorary doctorate on Monday informed a news conference about their future steps.

The open letter will be handed to the Academic Senate which is expected to hold a meeting on Tuesday.

We want to make them aware that a considerable part of the academic community disagrees with the decision to award an honorary doctorate and hope that this will serve as an incentive for the Senate to thoroughly analyse decisions of this kind, said Kosta Bovan of Zagreb’s Faculty of Political Sciences.

“We believe that Milan Bandić does not fulfil any criterion for an honorary doctorate. He has made neither scientific nor artistic contributions,” Bovan said, adding that the Academy of Music’s new building, which the academy’s dean cited as the reason for the honorary doctorate, had been paid for with money from the city budget, and was not a personal contribution by Mayor Bandić.

Furthermore, Bandić is still an active politician, his party has several lawmakers in the national parliament, and he is implicated in a series of scandals, with over 200 criminal complaints having been filed against him, Bovan said.

“He is arrogant and unprofessional towards everybody, including reporters who question his decisions, and we do not believe that he is held in high esteem, which is necessary for a recipient of an honorary doctorate,” Bovan said.

In late March, hundreds of members of the academic community rallied outside the Zagreb University building for a protest against the proposal by the Academy of Music to award Mayor Bandić an honorary doctorate of Zagreb University.

Noting that the commission in charge of awarding honorary doctorates would probably cite in its decision regarding Bandić projects such as the new building of the Academy of Music, they said that it was not Bandić who had financially helped Zagreb University but rather residents of Zagreb, by paying local taxes.

More news about Zagreb mayor can be found in the Politics section.


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