Desires. Eric Berton: ‘AMU is a socially oriented university’

Eric Burton? recently the president of ATU presented the main goals of the university for 2023 ©ATU

AMU President Eric Berton is quick to set the tone of his speech after welcoming the presence of Yvonne Berland, the first president of the world’s first French-speaking university. He remembers that thanks to the solid foundations laid by his predecessor, he was able to show his will at that swearing-in ceremony two years ago.” Writing a new page in the history of the University of Aix-Marseille by multiplying measures to transform AMU into a socially oriented university “. This will be the red thread of his intervention, a reminder and actions to be taken in this direction during the coming year. ” Over two years, despite successive health, social, financial, climate and energy crises, and multiple emergencies, we have collectively been able to navigate this course. “. He does not hide it being able to act rather than react, to maintain our commitments and social developments is a source of great pride. “.

“Combating discrimination, harassment and gender-based and sexual violence”

Eric Burton supports his point by citing several examples, including firstly the Respect and Equality Service. ” This is a first for a French university. A service based on a team of full-time and trained professionals to tackle discrimination, harassment and gender-based and sexual violence “. He notes: ” Unfortunately for all who had to resort to it, it allowed them to break out of isolation, to reject the unacceptable and to assert a firm will to provide the attention they need to everyone, whatever their origins and orientations. “. He also mentions remote work: ” More than 2,000 of our colleagues benefit from it today, and we will go even further with the organization of working time in the future. “. He assures that announcements will be made in this regard in the coming months.

“I am proud to work at ATU”

Thanking the teams for the work done, he considers: By living well together and thriving in our collective, we draw the energy that allows us to meet the challenges we set ourselves. “. And to rely on the results of the survey of the quality of life barometer in the work carried out by an independent firm: ” Of the 2,800 people who responded, nearly 80% said they were proud to work at AMU. This is an exceptional result that confirms us in the opinion that what we have established is logical. “.

“In 2021-2022, 53 teachers benefited from internal promotion”

Eric Berton also reveals that the internal promotion policy will continue: ” In 2021 and 2022, 46.3 had 53 lecturers benefiting from internal promotion through 35 repeat pyramids and 18 recruitments. I will continue this policy in the coming years, and in 2023 and 2024, our teachers will have 28 opportunities for internal promotion to the rank of professor each year. Similarly, he continues: We will continue to encourage the internal promotion of associate professors and certified professors to senior teaching positions. »

“Year-end rewards system”

It comes to the year-end bonus system established in 2022: “ We will fully review this bonus system to maximize the positives and act on identified areas of improvement. The 2022 system was a special cost of more than 2 million euros in the enterprise’s budget. “. He does not forget physical and sports activities: We have introduced a significant offer: about a hundred events a year in more than 560 sports and more than 90 disciplines, and the sports-health-health offer will soon be offered as part of a system dedicated to the university’s staff. “. Eric Burton notes about culture: ” AMU represents artistic talents, initiatives and remarkable partnerships, we will strengthen existing systems and imagine new ones. We will continue to support the Antoine Vittez theater, our theater, because it is a wonderful tool in the service of our community. “.

Social ladder

The president of AMU expands his views: ” We can also be proud of the social elevator system we have implemented to promote the success of our students from the priority neighborhoods of Marseille urban policy. “. This made it possible to assign up to 180 hours of assistance during the year for each student. Assistance with orientation, acquisition of better methodology, construction of projects, development of critical thinking and curiosity, ” assistance expressed around personalized follow-up “.

“Charter Guaranteeing the Inclusion of LGBTI People”

Everyone’s place is what adoption is all about

A Charter guaranteeing the inclusion of LGBTI people. This charter

to be added to the internal regulations of the enterprise
“Nominating the president of AMU, he notes:” The issue of equality is dear to me and resonates with this desire for social inclusion. In terms of equality, the equality of women and men cannot be limited to a language element or a flag:

it should be concrete and realistic
“. In this regard, ” For our part-time colleagues, often mothers, when the issue of end-of-year bonus rates came up, we chose to keep their bonuses in full because we know that, in most cases, it is a necessity imposed on them. “.

“The feeling of being on the edge of a cliff”

For Eric Burton, it’s now a matter of going further, being more socially committed.” because we all see it every day: the planet is in bad shape, the economy is in decline, and nations no longer live in harmony. We feel at the edge of the abyss “. Faced with this, he considers: the solution of this world state requires education and research, which are the source of human progress. This is not a short-term, inherently ineffective answer, but a major challenge we must face. “.

The gap between this youth facing a world that worries themhe continues and it is a reality that our generations cannot sufficiently influence the course of events. We let ourselves fall asleep and the awakening is brutal. One of our main missions is to support young people in building their future. And this is indeed one of the greatest responsibilities “.

“Significant resources of knowledge and experience”

Eric Burton recalls: We are repositories of sufficient knowledge and experience. Transmission has always been the engine of human progress and the main mission of our Universities. “. However, he notes that the current situation raises questions: ” Have we done everything we can to pass on all this knowledge, all these experiences and put these young people in the best position to look to their future, to our common future? Did we miss something? “. He describes the context as follows: The state of the world is worrying: its geopolitical situation, its economic situation, its climate situation. To refuse to see it, and to measure how uncomfortable it is, is to be profoundly blind. “. The AMU president admits that this concern sometimes manifests itself in these young people.” in the form of hostility towards their elders and the world they represent in their eyes. Rejecting it, not being able to understand it, not being able to welcome it is to cut yourself off from this youth and the future it brings. “.

“Drive the dynamics that will put us on the right side of history”

For Eric Burton: As a university, we can bridge some of this divide. As president of our university, it is my responsibility to stimulate a dynamic that will place us on the right side of history. On the side of collective action and non-surrender “. Then to insist The importance of maintaining scientific ambitions at AMU that can generate knowledge that will give them the tools to do so “. And he moves forward in the face of the great difficulties he has just set before him: The role of science, researchers and rationality will be decisive. Climate, Health, Inequalities, Lifestyles, democracy and the social contract… the key questions of the coming decades must be informed and nourished by research. “.

“We train the citizens of the future”

The president of the AMU insists: ” We train future professionals, but above all we train future citizens, and here the socially connected University of Aix-Marseille can give full meaning to its ambition. We have the ability to produce not only brilliant scientists, but also conscious scientists who are aware of the challenges of their time and are focused on common interests. “.

He concludes his speech as follows: Having initiated a social engagement project, today I would like us to go further by setting ourselves an exploratory mission to create community. Exploring our knowledge to imagine new solutions, exploring our differences to enrich them, exploring the future to make it better… “.

Michelle CAIRE

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