On Monday, Minister of Education Besa Shahini appointed deputy rector Bernard Dosti as acting rector of the University of Tirana after she suspended Rector Mynyr Koni for questionable and politically motivated reasons. One day into his new job, Dosti issued a decision in which he orders the university to fulfill all recommendations made by experts of the ministry of education in December 2018. Minister Shahini suspended Rector Koni because he allegedly refused to meet the said recommendations.
The appointment of Bernard Dosti and his decision are in violation of the higher education law. Article 39/9 of it stipulates that:
“In the case of dismissal of a rector for legal reasons or failure to perform duties, the minister responsible for education appoints a deputy rector for a term of up to six months with the aim of organizing the elections in the institution.”
Two legal violations arise from this article of the law.
The first violation relates the appointment itself. The law explicitly stipulates that the appointment of an acting rector can be conducted when the rector is dismissed for legal reasons or failure to perform duties. Up to this day, Rector Koni is not dismissed; he is merely suspended. His replacement can occur only after the President has issued a decree for the rector’s dismissal or if the President does not issue a decree for one month following the suspension by the ministry. Therefore, the appointment of Dosti as acting rector is in violation of the law.
The second violation of the law on higher education relates Dosti’s decision issued yesterday. The law stipulates that the deputy rector appointed as acting rector for a transitional period will have to deal only with the organization of early elections at university and does not have the rector’s legal powers. The maximum six-month-term of office is meant to organize elections and elect a new rector and not to implement government orders.