The University of Buenos Aires (UBA) has a new Rector for the period 2022-2026: Ricardo Gilbe, current Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, was elected by 174 votes, 53 abstentions, and one negative vote in the University Council. Gilbey, who will take office on August 1, was elected with the support of the current ruling UBA party, a radical-led coalition, with Peronist and independent allies. Among its administrative goals, Gilbey cited updating study plans; dealing with student abandonment; and strengthening teacher training. The opposition, which includes sectors of the center-left, Peronists and independents, did not present a candidate for the post of university president and abstained from voting, in an attempt to “open a new dialogue” with the elected authorities, as explained by the rector of the university. Philosophy and Songs, Riccardo Manetti. Sections of the left spoke out against the election of radical deputy Emiliano Iacopetti as vice president of the university.
At the Teatro de la Ribera, with the participation of 234 members of the association and representatives of professors, alumni and students from the 13 faculties of UBA, the university meeting was finally held, postponed last year due to the covid-19 epidemic.
Gilbey will be the successor to Alberto Barbieri, who has led the university since 2014. The current Dean of Medicine will occupy the university’s administration until July 31, 2026. During his acceptance speech, after his appointment, he highlighted UBA’s work against the pandemic “which was neither a coincidence nor a fluke, but because of his formidable ability On training and commitment. Likewise, having expressed his intent to continue with the “many good things” of the current administration, he gave his own guidance: continue to work on updating study plans; Expand UBA’s contacts with the world; Dealing with the problem of abandonment in the early years; Ensure a continuous and permanent flow of reliable statistical information to make accurate diagnoses. Teacher training and research, infrastructure, gender policies, budgeting and environmental action were among the other points mentioned as priorities.
In this sense, Gilby urged “to continue to build consensus, to put a greater university at the service of our community, and to increase its level of excellence.” “We must unite away from the differences we might have for one purpose: to grow into the future for the sake of UBA and our country,” he concluded.
Opposition to abstain
Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Anna AriasDeans of exact and natural sciences, William DoranPhilosophy and literature Ricardo Manetti, expressed the position of the opposition – which did not submit its candidate and abstained – in a document titled “For a Democratic, Independent, Free, Academic-Quality UBA Strongly Connected to the Community Supporting It”. The text was also signed by the vice presidents of these colleges, alumni and professors of the unit list for UBA.
Manetti explained that “abstaining from the vote is not a vote against him, but rather opens the possibility of dialogue with who is the new president of the university after his election.” Page 12. “We do not vote against it, but abstain, so that we can accompany and dialogue that begins today in front of the university that we all want, which Dr. Gilby also announced,” said the Dean, and emphasized that the decision was not to present a candidate of his own – “could have be a testimony” – the same meaning.
In the document, reviewers who oppose UBA formalism point to the need to deepen policies in terms of Gender mainstreamingFrom democratizationThe social construction of knowledge and Greatness and academic excellence, among others; Highlighting them as “the central hubs of UBA we want for the next four years”. They noted that “political times and historical differences with the recent past of our university did not allow this group of advisors to express their support today for the candidate for the position of university president proposed by the ruling UBA party, Dr. Gilbe, a scholar of prestige and a person associated with dialogue with all sectors of society.”
Manetti explained that they think “it will be a coincidence if what he expressed on the show is going to be implemented, but for that we have to sit down and start working together.”
As stated in the text, the abstention took place “with a commitment to join all possible debates in the near future, to contribute from our thoughts and knowledge to the creation of the University of Buenos Aires the pride of all.”
Rejection from the left
Left groups have expressed their rejection of the election of Emiliano Jacopetti, a deputy of Together for Change, as Vice-Rector of the League for the period 2022-2026. “It is a shame that Jakopetti assumes he is the second authority in our university with the disastrous record he has, a figure from the purple sector who comes into politics through gangs, threats to students and corruption that has nothing to do with public education,” said Luca Bonfante, student advisor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and a member of PTS.