Discussion du projet de loi sur l’Université

Luxembourg, 3rd of January 2017,

Dear APUL members, dear colleagues,

I wish you all the best in coming 2018 year! May you achieve all that you wish and more. This year was not easy for all of us but I feel very grateful for your support especially with regard to the draft bill on the university. I hope that we will continue to stand together in support of each other, harnessing on our individual strengths in facing challenges ahead.

This academic year will see the taking of office of a new rector, Prof. Stéphane Pallage. APUL warmly welcomes him and will arrange an extraordinary meeting with him. As you may remember, I asked the APUL board members to contact you to collect your views and thoughts in order to send him a welcome letter expressing our concerns and hopes related to the challenges our university is already facing and will be facing in the forthcoming years. Once I will have received their feedback, we will draft this welcome letter.

With regard to the challenges our university is facing, please be informed that the draft bill on the university is again being discussed today and tomorrow in front of the “Commission parlementaire de l’Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche, des Médias, des Communications et de l’Espace”. I therefore sent a reminder of our concerns to Mrs Simone Beissel, Chair of the Committee as well as to all Chairs of parliamentary groups.
Here is the message that was addressed this morning to Mrs Beissel:

“Madame la Présidente, Madame la Député,

Tout d’abord, permettez-moi de vous souhaiter une très belle année 2018 et formuler tous mes vœux de bonheur et de paix pour vous et vos proches.

Aujourd’hui et demain, le projet de loi sur l’Université sera de nouveau discuté devant la Commission de l’Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche, des Médias, des Communications et de l’Espace que vous présidez.
Au nom de l’Association des Professeurs de l’Université du Luxembourg, je me permets d’attirer de nouveau votre attention sur le courrier que nous vous avions fait parvenir àce sujet le 6 décembre dernier et que vous voudrez bien trouver en fichier joint de ce courriel. L’adoption de cette loi est une étape cruciale pour le futur de l’Université du Luxembourg et la construction d’une culture académique au Luxembourg. Nous ne doutons pas que votre Commission saura entendre en ce début d’année les vœux de l’APUL dont la volonté est de promouvoir le développement de l’université en faisant en sorte que lui soient donnés les moyens de relever les défis qui l’attendent dans un contexte de démocratie interne, de promotion de l’excellence de la recherche et de l’enseignement et de service de l’intérêt général.

Je reste naturellement à votre disposition pour toute information complémentaire que vous pourriez souhaiter et vous prie de recevoir, Madame la Présidente, Madame la Député, l’expression de mes salutations respectueuses,

Elise Poillot
Présidente de l’Association des Professeurs de l’Université du Luxembourg“

To this message was attached the letter that was sent to Mrs Beissel and all chairs of parliamentary groups on the 6th of December 2017.

I will of course keep you informed on all developments regarding the law.

In the meanwhile, I would like once again to thank you for your support and wish you a wonderful year 2018 filled with happiness, joy and success.

With my warmest regards,

Elise Poillot
APUL Chair

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Letter to the Parliamentary Committee on Higher Education

Wednesday, 6 December 2017,  the Parliamentary Committee on Higher Education started to examine Bill n. 7132 on the new organization of the University of Luxembourg.

APUL is still concerned that – despite the amendments which have been announced by Minister Marc Hansen – the Bill might not take into account the various issues raised by APUL’s document.

Therefore a new letter, which also stresses the need to reconsider the internal promotion system, was sent to Mrs Simone Beissel, the Chair of the Committee as well as to the leaders of the various parliamentary groups.

Please find here the letter to Mrs Beissel.

Elise Poillot
Chair of APUL

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Towards a more democratic functioning of the University

On November 27 the Luxembourg Minister for Higher Education and Research, Mr. Marc Hansen, together with Mr Léon Diederich, Commissaire du Gouvernement, and Mrs Christiane Huberty, Conseiller, received a delegation from APUL composed by Raymond Bisdorff and myself. The meeting was planned after our press release was sent to the Minister and the Commissaire du Gouvernement. During this meeting a discussion on the main points raised by our position paper took place.

The press release issued today, 4th December 2017, by the Ministry of Higher Education (http://www.gouvernement.lu/7594131/04-hansen-unilu) shows that some of our concerns were taken into account since faculty councils will be mentioned by the law.

We welcome this move towards a more democratic functioning of the University and hope that the discussion that will now take place in Parliament will allow some progress with regards to some crucial points, such as the election of deans and the still limited role of the university council, which mainly remains an advisory body.

Elise Poillot
APUL Chair

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Soutien total du Conseil d’Etat au projet de réorganisation ministériel

L’avis du Conseil d’Etat concernant le projet de loi 7132 ayant pour objet la réorganisation de notre Université vient d’être publié le 28 novembre 2017.

Vous le trouverez à cette adresse:

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Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Hoffnung

« Die Apul hat … Recht, den „akademischen Kontext in Luxemburg“ debattieren zu wollen. Das Problem, um das es geht, ist nicht nur eines der gouvernance der Universität. … »

Leitartikel von Peter Feist im Lëtzebuerger Land vom 24.11.2017

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Concerns over the draft law on the organization of the University of Luxembourg

The Association of Professors of the University of Luxembourg (APUL), after meeting in extraordinary general assembly on 14 November 2017, has adopted a position statement expressing its concerns over the draft law on the organization of the University of Luxembourg currently under discussion.

In the view of the Association, the law fails to provide for the type of participatory democratic structures necessary for the continued successful development of our university, while also introducing rigid study regulations that may lead to unintentionally harsh consequences for students in particular circumstances.

Concerned to continue building on the remarkable national and international success of our university, APUL therefore calls for a public debate engaging the university community and civil society so as to ensure that the new law will be informed by a thoroughgoing process of democratic reflection and will be anchored in the realities of the Luxembourgish academic context.

The full text of the APUL position statement from the 20th of Navember 2017 may be found below respectively in English, French or German  :

Professor Luc Heuschling’s legal opinion may be found at:


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Call for an APUL EGM, Tuesday Nov 14, 17h00-18:30, room MSA 3.110

See Minutes here

Dear APUL members,

The APUL board calls for an extraordinary general  assembly of APUL on the 14th of November (17:00 – 18:30 venue Campus Belval MSA 3.110).

The first purpose of this Extraordinary Assembly is to take a position on the Loi sur l’Université du Luxembourg. I was told that the Conseil d’Etat is said to publish soon his report on the law. The APUL board is convinced that APUL should send its view on the law to the Conseil d’Etat as soon as possible in order to have it taken into account. There are several points in the law that could be challenging the democratic functioning of our University and on which we should express our concern. We apologise for the short notice of this announcement and the haste required to deal with this issue but given the context, we believe there is an urgent need to meet.

The second purpose of this Extraordinary Assembly will be to start discussing a welcome letter APUL could send to Stéphane Pallage, the new appointed rector, in order to draw his attention on several points we consider crucial for the functioning of the University, among which and inter alia the lack of transparency of the central administration processes which needs to be addressed by the future governance of UL.

Let us apologise again for the short notice and hope that in this extremely important stage in the history of the University of Luxembourg this Extraordinary Assembly will be attended by many of us. A massive attendance will be a strong signal of our commitment to the democratic development and functioning of our University and our strength as a community.

Kind regards,

On behalf of the APUL board,
Elise Poillot
APUL Chair

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Universities are broke. So let’s cut the pointless admin and get back to teaching

« The meaningless tasks and faux-business strategies prioritised by British universities have skewed their real role. »
Guardian article by André Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour

Interesting and acute analysis of what is now going on in the UK and of what we should not do (our central administration having a certain tendency to think Anglo-Saxon models are the best). Some points raised by this article also reminded me of Uni.lu.

Elise Poillot
APUL chair

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Die Zukunft der Universität Luxembourg: Wir stehen an einem Scheideweg

Woxx interview mit G. Steffgen
WOXX | 14 07 2017 | Nr 1432

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Minutes from the APUL AGM’2017

APUL – The Association of Professors of the University of Luxembourg

Minutes from the Annual General Meeting 2017

Tuesday, 20th June 2017, Black Box, MSH, Campus Belval

Present: F. Anton, I. Behrmann, J. Billieux, R. Bisdorff,  P. Bouvry, J.-L. Bueb, A. Fickers, R. Harmsen, W. Haslehner, M. Hesse, L. Heuschling, St. Maas, Ch. Max, A. Melzer, B. Nienaber, M. Pauly, P.  Ryan, J. Schiltz, J.-M. Schlenker, M. Schlichenmaier, B. Steenis, G. Steffgen, N. Teferle, M. Uhrmacher, J. Van Bommel, P. Esteva-Verissimo, Fr. Viti, E. Weydert,
Excused: R. Baustert, A. Binsfeld, M. Cole, I. De Saint-Georges, O. Francis, N. Guelfi, P. Heuschling, Fr. Hofmann, A. Hübner, A, Irmen, St. Kloster, S. Kmec, O. Kohns, St. Kreis, J. Lagerwall, U. von Lilienfeld-Toal, S. Mauw, N. Navet, I. Nourdin, A. Pantaza, H. Parlier, J. Pavlik, P. Plapper, E. Poillot, Ph. Poirier, I. Schandeler,  Chr. Schommer, Chr. Schulz, M. Theobald,  G. Tripathi, L. Van der Torre, G. Wiese, L. Wirtz, J. Vanderwalt, C. Vögele.

The meeting starts at: 17h10


1) Reporting the past APUL activities

a) Despite planning in Autumn 2016 for organising a public APUL event around the forthcoming project of revision of the UL law, no action could be completed, partly due to institutional work overload of the APUL chair, but partly also due to the outbreak of the actual governance and administration crisis.
b) The APUL secretary, for his part, reports from his observer position in the Governing Board, and more specifically about the apparent changes happening in the Board meetings since the new President arrived. Also, he mentions the request he got from the UL Communication department to replace the rectorate in the Radio 100,7 show “Riicht Eraus: En neit Gesetz fir eng besser Uni ?“, facing Minister Marc Hansen and MP Martine Hansen, on Saturday, June 17, 2017.
c) The FLSHASE Vice-Chair mentions the publication of a paper contribution in the monthly FORUM 374 (June 2017) edition.

2) Renewal of the APUL executive officers

  • Chair: Elise Poillot (proposer: W. Haslehner, seconder: J. Schiltz)
    Motivation letter from colleague Elise Poillot, professor in civil law at the FDEF.

  • Vice-chair FDEF: Werner Haslehner (proposer: R. Bisdorff, seconder: A. Fickers)
  • Vice-chair: FLSHASE: Markus Hesse (proposer: M. Pauly, seconder: B. Nienaber)
  • Treasurer: Jang Schiltz (proposer: R. Bisdorff, seconder: A. Fickers)

R. Bisdorff’s motion to make, as there is a unique nominee for each office, a non confidential bulk election, finds unanimous support. The nominees are elected unanimously by the assembly.

3) UL governance crisis and the revision of the UL law

A lively discussion starts about a text proposal (voir la contribution à la discussion d’un groupe de professeurs) concerning both the ongoing governance crisis as well as the forthcoming UL Law revision (voir le projet de loi 7132 du 8 mai 2017 ayant pour objet l’organisation de l’Université du Luxebourg: pages 1-63 et pages 64 – 104).

Following eventually a recommedation by colleague Harmsen, it is decided to prepare, in a first step, a concise, one page positional text (A) about the very missions of the UL from the professors’ perspective.  In a second step, taking  text (A) as motivation, formal amendments of the present law revision project with commentaries will be elaborated  and disseminated inside and outside the UL, in particular to the State Counsel members and the relevant Parliament Commission members.

To proceeed quickly with this undertaking, following colleagues agreed to join in a task force: R. Bisdorff (B), R. Harmsen, L. Heuschling, Ch. Max, M. Pauly (B), J.-M. Schlenker, M. Schlichenmaier (A),  and Fr. Viti. Other colleagues, who would like to join in the task force, are most welcome. Same, in case you would like to otherwise express your opinions, comments and suggestions, please contact the APUL executive.

The AGM ends at: 18h35
Minutes prepared by R. Bisdorff

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