István Decsi was born in Pécs, and from 2016, he was deputy mayor of his hometown. Since autumn 2020, he has been working for UP as Chancellor and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Universitas Quinqueecclesiensis Foundation.
Why did you agree to become a member of the Board of Trustees?
I love my country, I love Pécs and the University of Pécs. I believe that through the university's capacities and the skills of its staff, we can achieve real, regionally significant development and contribute to Hungary's goals and to its social, economic and scientific development. I am motivated when I see that the work we do here has a positive impact in numerous areas of life.
Being a member of the Board of Trustees is the most responsible role of my career so far.
My respect for the task and the goals of the Board naturally required careful consideration, but I accepted the invitation to become a member with good heart and humility. As with my previous work, I regard my membership of the Board of Trustees as a service.
What do you consider to be the most important issue that you will propose to change as soon as possible?
A change of mindset is the basis for successful work. The aim is to create a responsive, flexible system of education, research and services, with both employee and student perspectives, that serves social and economic interests and provides security for individuals, whether it is for their livelihoods, careers, academic progress, career choices or post-graduation success. The work has not just begun, since I took over as Chancellor I have been working to ensure that this approach is reflected in the strategic planning and day-to-day work, with the University's management as a partner.
I believe it is important that we start to realize the potential of the new operating model, to improve internal processes, harmonize procedures and ensure that administration serves the operating system and staff, rather than the other way round, while increasing transparency.
In parallel with the internal foundations, external relations will be sorted out and, if necessary, rebuilt, and it is important to highlight the role of the university in regional development, which, in addition to R&D&I activities, can have a major impact on education and the development of student career models.
The funding framework following the change of university model will provide, in addition to the basic support, additional support to the institutions, which will be available to encourage development and efficiency, subject to the fulfilment of specific indicators. These resources will support the development of the university, but will require strong individual and team performance. This can only be achieved if all staff are in the same boat, moving in the same direction, so the development of a performance review system is important as well.
To what extent will the work of the Board of Trustees affect student life?
I hope that students will notice the work going on in the background, providing them faster administration, support services, improved infrastructure and enabling them to work with motivated educators and researchers.
We would like to place emphasis on the development of student career models.
We want to develop the industrial and economic partner network of the University in a way that facilitates an active relationship between cooperating companies and students with practical experience. Many students arrive at the university at an age without a firm idea of their future. This carries the potential for finding a way. We need to operate a system that provides support services in case of difficulties, offers alternatives to continue their studies, helps them find new goals. I trust and will work to ensure that students experience this positive effect as soon as possible.