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Joint BSRUN and EAIR 10th Baltic Seminar of University Administrators “ Role of governing bodies in higher education . Recent developments in higher education governance ” Riga , 14-15 May 2009. Developments in the University of Latvia governance – past, present and future

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Joint BSRUN and EAIR 10th BalticSeminarofUniversity Administrators “Roleofgoverningbodiesinhighereducation. Recentdevelopmentsinhighereducationgovernance” Riga, 14-15 May 2009

Developments in the University of Latvia governance – past, present and future

Juris Krumins – Vice rector, University of Latvia

Juris Puce – Head of Strategy Unit, University of Latvia

statute of the university of latvia 1922 11 faculties and governing bodies
Statute of the University of Latvia, 192211 Faculties and Governing Bodies

Faculty of Philology and Philosophy

Faculty of Theology

Faculty of National Economy and Law

Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Faculty of Chemistry

Faculty of Medicine


University Council, Rector,

2 Vice-rectors (student affairs, economy), Deans’ Council,

Economy Council,


Auditing Commission

university of latvia end of soviet period and 2009 faculties and governing bodies
University of Latvia - End of Soviet period and 2009Faculties and governing bodies

End of Soviet era:

12 faculties (No – Medicine, Theology)


University Council, Committe of CPSU, Rector, 5 Vice-rectors (studies, part-time studies, training, research, economy), Study Council, Research Council, Administrative units

Year 2009:

14 Faculties (+ Medicine, Theology, Computing, Social Sciences)


Senate, Rector, 5 Vice-”rectors” (studies, research, chancellor, director, administrative director), Deans’ Council,

Study Council, Research Council, UL Administration

Projects. Riga: UniversityofLatvia. 1995. Vol.1 - 133 p., Vol. 2 – 247 p.

Institutionaldevelopment - Vision










External regulations:

Education Law (1991)

Chapter 8. Higher Education

(1.5 pages)

Law on Higher Education Institutions (1995)

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Draft - Higher Education Law (2006)

Regulation on UL Administration, Approved by Senate on 26 November 2001

Development Strategy for the University of Latvia, Approved by Senate on 26 April 2004

Guidelines of the Strategic Development of the University of Latvia. Approved by Senate on 1 December 2008

present situation strategy of university
Present situation: Strategy of University
  • Development Strategy (2004) states following strategic aims towards governance:
    • Increase participation of social partners in decision making bodies (both Senate and faculty councils);
    • Create clear system of “division of labour” between faculties, institutes, study centres and central administration.
  • Strategic Guidelines (2008) stresses importance of research, internationalization and increasing participation of representatives from society and employers.
present situation finances and budget
Present situation: Finances and budget
  • UL (from 2009) receives funding from government as lump sum, having responsibility to divide funds in order to meet aims.
  • UL has partially decentralised budget:
    • Top management controls part of the budget, most of it is used for maintanance of infrastructure and funding for development;
    • Faculties and institutes receive their budget as “lump sum”. Central administration controls legality of spending and has some regulatory role in cash flow and expenditure priorities;
    • Faculties pay salaries for staff from their budget.
present situation institutional development
Present situation: Institutional development
  • Role changes:
    • Amendments to the Statute of UL (2005) gave additional power to Rector (in finances, institutional appointments etc.).
  • Academic structure:
    • Integration (2006) in the form of “institutes – agencies” 9 former Academy of Science institutes. Academic, research and administrative co-operation is still insufficient.
    • In 2009 UL founded Faculty of Computing and plans to merge faculties of Philology and Modern Languages.
  • Administrative structure:
    • Central administration reform (2001-2002) created new system of central administration.
present situation territorial development
Present situation: Territorial development
  • UL is multi-campus urban university, who has more then 80 locations in Riga (faculties, institutes, dormitories etc.).
  • In order to gain academically from inter- and transdisciplinary co-operation and financially from lowering maintenance expenditures in long term, UL is working towards moving to one campus (in 10-15 years).
evaluation of ul
Evaluation of UL
  • UL participates in EUA Institutional Evaluation Programme and has received first assessment from evaluators. Evaluators see in UL these weaknesses:
    • Institutional goals are not “cascaded” to different structural units;
    • Institutional structure is historically (sometimes – illogically) developed and lacks clear division of responsibilities and functions;
    • Institutional development is usually ad hoc, lacking clear connection to strategic goals of the UL.
future external factors
Future: External factors
  • Factors, that will directly influence future development in governance of UL:
    • Saeima (Parliament) debates on draft Law on Higher Education (LHE), which has many innovations in governance of HEI’s;
    • There is overall movement towards greater accountability of public sector;
    • Economic crisis will have serious impact on funding of UL, but also will probably lead to structural changes in HE sector.
future participation of externals
Future: participation of “externals”
  • UL has Board of Advisors, that consists of “outside” members, but has only advisory role.
  • Composition of faculty and institute councils should be changed to include “outside” members (only some have external members now) .
  • Possible amendments to LHE include creation of University Council (Board) as central strategic institution with majority external members.
  • LHE foresees necessity to include employers of graduates and representatives from society in governing bodies.
future streamlining management
Future: Streamlining management
  • UL needs to:
    • divide responsibility for funding issues and academic development;
    • merge structural units responsible for teaching and research;
    • professionalize management of UL and its structural units (including development of managerial skills for both administrative and academic “managers”).
  • LHE foresees streamlined management system with much bigger role for Rector.