Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik becomes Honorary Rector of the University of Nova Gorica
On 5 May 2022, the University of Nova Gorica conferred to the first rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik, the title of Honorary Rector – Rector ad Honorem – of the University of Nova Gorica for his outstanding merits for the establishment, development and operation of the University of Nova Gorica, and for his significant contribution to the development of scientific, artistic and pedagogical activities at the University.
The ceremony, which took place at the Lanthieri mansion in Vipava, was opened by Prof. Dr. Boštjan Golob, Rector of the University of Nova Gorica. In the justification, which began with an outline of Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik’s long-standing activity at the University of Nova Gorica, he highlighted Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik’s integrative management style, through which he was able to attract colleagues from a wide variety of scientific fields and persuade them to collaborate, thus enabling the creation of research units in the field of wildlife and the humanities, from which new teaching programmes emerged, and thus laying the foundations for the establishment of the University of Nova Gorica in 2006, of which Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik became the first rector.
“As rector, he has insisted that the lecturers in the study programmes are first and foremost top scientists, thus consolidating a high level of excellence also in the field of teaching. The period since the University of Nova Gorica was founded has been characterised by growth in the number of staff, the number of study programmes and the number of research fields. The development of research and other infrastructure has also been important. His close links with the local community have enabled the University of Nova Gorica to operate today on nearly 10,000 m2 with modern research laboratories and multimedia lecture halls, and to lease the prestigious Lanthieri mansion in Vipava for several decades. Zavrtanik is also the initiator of the establishment of the University of Nova Gorica Foundation and the Primorska Technological Park”, the University of Nova Gorica’s Governing Board wrote in its justification.
Under the management of Prof. Dr. Danilo Zavrtanik, the University of Nova Gorica has achieved recognition by international university quality assessors. For many years, it has been ranked among the top 150 universities in the world in rankings that take into account the size of the university, and it has always been ranked first in Slovenia. It has become an equal member of the Slovenian Rectors’ Conference, as well as a member of all major regional associations of rectors’ conferences. Additionally it is a signatory to numerous international bilateral and multilateral agreements with related institutions around the world, and maintains an international character internally as well, with almost 30% of its academic staff being foreigners and almost 50% of its students.
“During his management of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik has established an internally solid, forward-looking, internationally renowned institution of higher education, which is an important characteristic of the Slovenian higher education, research and artistic space”, concluded the Rector of the University of Nova Gorica, Prof. Dr. Golob.
On receiving the honorary title, Prof. Dr. Zavrtanik was thankful, saying, “I would like to thank the Management Board very much for this honour, which I am very proud to receive. It has been a pleasure and a joy to work with dedicated colleagues, students and staff over the years. We have never shied away from challenges and obstacles, and over the past 25 years we have worked together to build a world-class university of which we can be immensely proud.”
“I wish all of you at the University of Nova Gorica the same success in the future. Let’s move forward with courage!” concluded the Honorary Rector of the University of Nova Gorica.
On this occasion, two certificates of appreciation were awarded to Prof. Dr. Gvido Bratina and Prof. Dr. Mladen Franko for their many years of outstanding work as vice chancellors of the University of Nova Gorica. Prof. Dr. Bratina served as Vice-rector for Research and Arts from 2010 to 2022, and Prof. Dr. Franko as Vice-Rector for Education during the same period.
Andreja Leban, Public Relations