Below you can find an edited version of the welcome letter of the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the Charles University Věra Sokolová to colleagues and students.
Dear students and colleagues,
it is an honour and at the same time a great obligation for me to welcome you all in the new academic year from the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities of Charles University. Even after more than twenty years of my tenure at the FHS, I always feel the joy of the moment when our faculty comes back to life at the beginning of October after a quiet summer. The energy and enthusiasm that students, and especially incoming freshmen, bring is a reminder to all of us of the rich potential that our faculty community holds.
This fall, our faculty celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, through whose gates more than four thousand graduates have passed in that time. This program is unique in the Czech higher education environment, and we can be justly proud of it. It promotes openness, creativity, flexibility and cooperative critical thinking in academic work. Equally important are the synergies that our broad-based, multidisciplinary undergraduate programme creates. The equally unique and excellent master's and doctoral programs we cultivate at the FHS, which reach hundreds of applicants from across the country each year, have grown out of the idea of a Liberal Arts and Humanities out of the shared interest of faculty and students. This year's anniversary of the undergraduate program offers us an opportunity for reflection as well as for jointly shaping our vision for the future.We are steering the celebrations towards Humanities Week in mid-November (13-17 November) and are already looking forward to the activities and discussions to come.
Education is the point of why we are all here; all of the faculty who teach at FHS are also doing science, with their own research projects, writing scholarly publications, sharing the results of their research at conferences, and popularizing the humanities and education toward the general public. Nevertheless, pedagogical work has a privileged place in the professional life of our teachers. However, the combination of teaching and scientific work is certainly not easy or obvious. It is the interplay between science and teaching, a beautiful but extremely demanding discipline, that distinguishes university teachers from researchers in the academy of sciences and teachers in regional education.
Adequate material facilities are also needed for successful studies and I am very happy to take this opportunity to share some of the new features that FHS offers its students from the new academic year. Over the summer we managed to prepare and equip a new relaxation area in the main hall of the building, a cloak room (0.38), a children's corner in cafeteria, a digital hub (0.33) and a student office (1.27). Last but not least, we are preparing a clear system of student job opportunities that will contribute to an even more active connection and involvement of students in the faculty life. I wish all the students to study well and comfortably in the newly adapted environment.
At the beginning of the academic year, it is also good to remember that the faculty is an interconnected community of three, totally interdependent parts: students, teachers and administration, which ensures the smooth running of faculty life and needs on a daily basis. The educational process and research activities of the faculty literally depend on the support, expertise and commitment of the administration. Without this input and work, the faculty could not at all be what it is and what it wants to continue to be - a good learning and working space for all of us. We are aware of this and appreciate it.
Dear colleagues, I wish us all from the bottom of my heart a most fruitful academic year, full of exploration and discovery, academic and research success, mutual inspiration, generosity, meaningful encounters and a pleasant presence together at our Faculty.
On behalf of the entire Dean's College, best wishes,
doc. Věra Sokolová, M.A., Ph.D., Dean of FHS UK