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Joan Guàrdia takes office as new rector of the UB: “We need to promote a change for and with everyone”

Joan Guàrdia, new rector of the UB.

Joan Guàrdia, new rector of the UB.

The outgoing rector, Joan Elias, giving the rector's baton to Joan Guàrdia.

The outgoing rector, Joan Elias, giving the rector's baton to Joan Guàrdia.

The Minister of Business and Knowledge, Ramon Tremosa, read the decree of appointment.

The Minister of Business and Knowledge, Ramon Tremosa, read the decree of appointment.

Joan Corominas during his speech.

Joan Corominas during his speech.

The new secretary-general, Marina Solé, when taking office.  en el moment de prendre possessió del càrrec

The new secretary-general, Marina Solé, when taking office. en el moment de prendre possessió del càrrec

The Rector's team also took office in the ceremony.

The Rector's team also took office in the ceremony.

12/01/2021

Institucional

Joan Guàrdia Olmos, who was elected rector of the University of Barcelona on December 18, took office today, January 12, in a ceremony held at the Paranimph of the Historical Building. The ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Business and Knowledge of the Catalan Government, Ramon Tremosa, together with the outgoing rector, Joan Elias; the acting secretary-general, Maite Vilalta, and the president of the Board of Trustees of the UB, Joan Corominas. Then, Marina Solé took office as the new secretary-general, as well as the other vice-rectors that make up the new governing team. The ceremony was not open to the audience due to the health restrictions, but it was streamed live on UBtv, where it is now available.

 In his first speech as rector, Joan Guàrdia noted that the current situation is very important: “The unext years will mark a before and after of universities in general and specially the UB; the challenge will be enormous”. He said that COVID-19 “has left us at the borderline” and remembered “those colleagues that left us”. Regarding the consequences of the health crisis, he noted that “the pandemic made it clear that we need to promote a change for and with everyone”.

The rector stated there is a need for a leading UB connected to the problems of society. “We will need everyone’s effort to face these challenges”, he said, and thanked the outgoing team for the delegation of powers carried out during these days, which he considered to be a model. Regarding the immediate future, he noted there are three priorities: “managing inertia”, and guaranteeing the best functioning of the starting semester, and specially the following one; making a good diagnostic, interacting with all actors, and preparing the academic year 2021-2022 so that it becomes the “real starting point” of the new project.

Last, he highlighted that this task has to count on people: “We need to take care of people”, he said. “This will be the first step of the long and exciting journey of the University project we want to start”, he concluded.

Joan Elias started his speech congratulating the new rector and thanking the university community and the former team for their work, specially during the last months of the pandemic. He reminded that four years ago, he mentioned that two of the main difficulties for the University were the generational shift, about which he said that “it has taken some shape but it needs work”, and not enough funding, “which is under consideration”. He concluded that the UB has to continue being a “national and European role model” and it has to continue working on its aim to train “free and critical citizens, committed to society”.

Minister Ramon Tremosa started his speech mentioning the “unusual situation” we are in, both regarding the pandemic and the political moment. Regarding this reality, he wanted to go for an “Europeanist speech” and listed the possibilities that open up EU Next Generation funds. “Europe has given us a determining aid today”, he said. He ensured that Catalonia has a network of universities, research centres and companies that should enable, through these funds, “transforming the economy and advance”.

The president of the Board of Trustees said the health crisis has accelerated many latent changes and that, “in this moment, the third aim is a priority for our University”. He defended a new economy based on knowledge and talent, “in which the university should play an important role”. In this sense, he said that taking part in the Next Generation funds “is an opportunity we have to take”. He also said that this does not work well with an underfunded university, and urged the new government that comes up from the elections in the Catalan government “to carry out their National Pact for Knowledge Society”.

 

Vice-rectors take office

Then, the members of the new governing team of the University took office: Marina Solé, secretary-general; Ernest Abadal, assistant vice-rector of the Rector and for Teaching and Research Staff; Agustí Alcoberro, vice-rector for Heritage and Cultural Activities; Concepció Amat, vice-rector for Teaching Policy; Víctor Climent, vice-rector for Labour Relations; Pilar Delgado, vice-rector for Academic and Quality Policy; Maria Feliu, vice-rector for Doctoral Studies and Training Research Staff; Marta Ferrer, vice-rector for Students and Participation; Jordi Garcia, vice-rector for Research; Markus González, vice-rector for Internationalization Policy; Montserrat Puig, vice-rector for Equal Opportunities and Gender; Mercè Segarra, vice-rector for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Transfer, and Xavier Triadó, vice-rector for Digital Transformation.

 

The new rector

 Joan Guàrdia Olmos (Barcelona, 1958), was elected rector of the UB in the elections held last december, which were conducted for the first time through e-voting. In the second round, in which he competed against the rector Joan Elias, Guàrdia was proclaimed winner with 54.28% of the weighted vote and record participation: the 25.23% of the census voted, a higher participation than in the first round, which was of 21.56%, and 11.37 points over the second round of the 2016 Election. On December 29, the Catalan Government published the decree with his appointment as rector of the University of Barcelona, and he took office today. /p>

The new rector is a professor of Methodology of Behavioural Sciences at the Faculty of Psychology. He arrived at the University of Barcelona as a student of the Faculty of Economic Sciences and he combined these studies with Psychology studies. Expert on statistics and the systematic study of human behaviour, he has given lectures at the Faculty of Psychology, but also in the faculties of Pharmacy, Economics and Business, Geography and History, Nursing, Education and Biology. 

He has given seminars and courses and has supervised doctoral theses in different national and international universities. Guàrdia has published more than 30 books and more than 260 science articles, apart from being the principal researcher of many research projects. He has held several positions in academic management, and is now member of the Institute of Neurosciences of the UB and the Institute of Complex Systems (UBICS), where he does research on quantitative and computational neuroscience.  

 

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