An important event took place in the field of Russian higher education: the rector of perhaps the best university in the country - the Higher School of Economics - Yaroslav Kuzminov announced that he was leaving his post and became the scientific director of the Higher School of Economics instead of 87-year-old Yevgeny Yasin, who would be the honorary scientific director.
Experts note that this decision is associated with the growing need to engage in operational activities as rector, which prevented Kuzminov from developing conceptual reform on a national scale. While the post of scientific advisor is formally more suitable for this purpose.
In addition, analysts believe that in recent years, Kuzminov's personal attitudes have begun to run counter to those of the state in a number of situations and hinder the development of HSE. As a result, Moscow State University managed to take revenge and regain its sole leadership.
Kuzminov announced his decision at the Academic Council. He said that he “does not want to grow old as a rector,” that he had been planning this decision for several years. But now, when Yasin submitted his resignation letter for health reasons, he made up his mind.
The new rector will be announced very soon, it will most likely be an outside person, a young technocrat. He will need to work in tandem with Kuzminov, who remains the scientific advisor.
But "Dozhd", referring to his friend Kuzminov, reports that he "resigned from his post, tired of the compromises with the authorities, which he had to make in recent years. According to him, he fought a lot for his students and professors, but felt that the continuation of the trend would lead to a loss of reputation. Kuzminov had good relations with the chairman of the HSE Supervisory Board, first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Sergei Kiriyenko, but the other part of the presidential administration was against his figure as the rector of the university, the source of Dozhd said..."
An expert from the channel "Paradoxes Friend" found the political underpinnings in this decision:
“Yaroslav Kuzminov was the “bearing element” of Volodin's version of the conservative-liberal consensus.
The founder of the HSE is one of the co-authors of the 2012 May Decrees, produced by Volodin and de facto designed to correct (if not dismantle) the Kudrin-Surkov system of political and economic governance.
It is no coincidence that at first even the possibility of Kuzmin's transfer to the newly formed Medvedev government, almost to the post of deputy prime minister, was discussed.
In April 2014, Volodin was invited to head the HSE Supervisory Board.
And in November 2017, already being the chairman of the State Duma, he nominated Kuzminov for the post of deputy chairman of the Council for Lawmaking.
“A man of completely concrete results” - this is how the rector-“sislib” characterized his high-ranking patron, the “conservative”.
It is all the more indicative that Kuzmin's departure to the honorary position of scientific supervisor, which, among other things, makes it possible to reduce the dependence of the reputation - and, accordingly, income - of the university on its own social and political activities, happened shortly before the Duma elections.
Another indirect sign that the current speaker and his associates from the “faction party” may no longer achieve new “concrete results”..."
Journalist Kirill Shulika is sure that Kuzminov did not leave of his own free will:
Apparently, Kuzminov will make some kind of career in public administration, he was already a deputy of the Moscow City Duma. Well, or the government decided to attach some good person and asked the current rector to leave. What is happening at the HSE now is one big abomination, it won't get any worse, because there is nowhere to go.
And the famous Russian economist Konstantin Sonin reacted to this event with sadness:
Yaroslav Kuzminov is leaving the post of rector. In my opinion, for Russian education, this is a figure comparable to Lomonosov. Or, better to say, there was no comparable figure in our higher education between Lomonosov and today. He created a new university - in fact, a couple of separate faculties, in sciences that were not in the country - thirty years ago and thirty years later, this is a moment in the history of education - made it the leading university of a huge country, a leader in the capital - one of the capitals of world education. a model and benchmark for other universities.
Thirty years ago it was hard to believe that Russia would have a new super-university. Young stars from other Moscow universities and institutes went nowhere, joining the team. It is now known that it was a great team - based on its results, but then what? Twenty years ago - that graduates of the world's leading graduate schools would go to work there. That it will have the best faculties of mathematics and computer science in the country! Mathematicians! Computer Science! Who does not believe now that the faculties of biology and chemistry will not enter the Russian and European top? They will. HSE is one of the leaders in the world among the universities created in the last fifty years!
However, HSE was never limited to articles and lectures. No real university is limited to science and education. In all other respects, HSE was not only the best university in the country. HSE is the only world-class university in Russia. HSE alumni, HSE students - and even HSE critics and haters - always measure it against the standards of the leaders of world higher education. They learned about these standards while studying at HSE or trying to enroll in it! Everyone in Russia - from Moscow State University to FEFU - learns about how a modern university works by observing HSE, adopting the best, or criticizing that things are being done in a new and modern way. And this is an endless drive, so that it is no worse at HSE - in nothing! - than at Harvard and Oxford, it would have been impossible without Kuzminov. Thank you thank you thank you.
I'm sure that about Ya.I. more articles and books will be written - from today they will only begin to be written. I hope that Kuzminov will add real memoirs to his books on higher education. Today I mark another outstanding achievement - Kuzminov is leaving himself, at a time when he is still the leader of the university and the Russian university community. Look around - not like the rector, the head of the department does not exist, who leave by their own choice. This does not happen in Russia! Death, insanity, a criminal case - that's why rectors and directors are leaving. Can not be? Here Kuzminov - once again - proved that it is possible in a different way. Here, now, it can be even better!"