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Cyprus Internet Directory [ University elects new rector ]

University elects new rector

Author: 
Patrick Dewhurst

THE UNIVERSITY of Cyprus voted in its next rector and vice rectors yesterday, after several weeks of heated electioneering and controversial allegations against the winning candidate.

Former vice-rector and physics professor of Constantinos Christofides won the rectorship in the first round after securing 206 out of 372 votes. His opponents Constantinos Christou, Lenos Trigiorgis and Christos Schizas received 98, 37 and 27 votes respectively. Four votes were invalid.

The new vice rector for international relations, finance and administration will be Marios Mavronikolas, and the new vice rector for academic affairs candidates is Athanasios Gagatsis, who won 183 votes in the third round of voting.

Christofides said yesterday: “I’m very happy and I look forward to implementing a plan for the university, which will apply to teaching, research and international relations.”

Speaking about what this election will mean for the university, he said: “I am sure that everyone will work towards a common goal to make the University of Cyprus in the top 500 in the world in 10 years. We are now moving towards realising a university of open thought and constant innovation.”

The results showed clear majority support for Christofides, whose handling of student affairs as vice rector came under attack from one rival candidate.

Asked about the pre-election controversy, he said: “The university community has decided and its decision is fully respected. Now I would like my colleagues to work together to push things forwards.” Earlier in the day he told reporters “This election season has had its strengths and its excesses, but eventually this outcome was inevitable.”

Lenos Trigiorgis, who alleged Christofides had tried to win favour with the student body by giving special treatment to some students, said: “The results were shocking. Everyone was extremely surprised to hear Christofides had won the majority in the first round.” He added that in he had expected people to be opposed to Christofides.

Outgoing University rector Stavros Zenios congratulated the new rector, saying that the result was a “loud and clear” demonstration that democracy had spoken.

Asked about the controversy, Zenios said: “The academic community recognised that friction and occasional conflict are a part of the academic electoral process. This was a complex affair, but the outcome can be interpreted as showing the university is on the right trajectory.”

He said that the electorate had responded to Christofides’ clear vision for the future, and he anticipated that they would rally around the rector.

Zenios thanked all of the candidates for their participation and congratulated Christofides, who will take over as rector on December 16. Zenios said he will rejoin the teaching staff after a sabbatical – in Argentina – where he plans to write a book about Cyprus.

 



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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