Passed by Council of Ministers, two new decrees (with codes of 675 and 676) under state of emergence were announced in Official Gazette of Turkey on Saturday (October 29).
While one of the orders of the new decrees was to shut-down 15 more media outlets – 10 newspapers, 2 news agencies, and 3 journals -, the other critical decision made by the Council of Ministers and reflected on the decree was with regards to the ‘selection of candidates for the post of the rector by the Board of Higher Education at state universities’ to be evaluated and approved by the President.
The new regulation on the subject matter has been written down as the following: ‘Rectors at public universities are to be appointed by the President among the 3 candidates – who will have each completed minimum of 3 years as a professor - that would be selected by Turkey’s Board of Higher Education. In case a suggested candidate does not get appointed within a month and the Board of Higher Education cannot propose new candidates within following two weeks, the President can appoint someone directly. The term of the rector is for 4 years. Those who end their term can be reappointed for a second term. However, no rector can serve as a rector at the same state university for more than two consecutive terms… At foundation universities, the rectors get appointed by the President among the candidates that the Board of Higher Education selects based on the references of the executive board of the foundation university.’
Though the appointment of the rector is already one of the duties of the President currently, the process in regards to the selection of the candidates has been carried out at the higher education institutions through the votes of the eligible faculty members. The amendment of AKP passed through the latest decree basically voids the ‘election’ phase and gives the Board of Higher Education the authority to make the selection to be presented for the President’s approval.