UNAM has a new rector! Leonardo Lomelí takes possession
Leonardo Lomelí Vanegas took office today, November 17, 2023 as new rector of UNAM in a ceremony in which he was accompanied by the now former rector Enrique Grauedirectors of faculties, preparatory schools, of the CCH and the 15 members of the Governing Board, who were in charge of the election.
The ceremony was held at the Old School of Medicine in which Lomelí assumed office as the new rector of the highest house of studies for the period 2023-2027 replacing Enrique Graue, who held the position for eight years.
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Gina Zabludovsky Kuper, president of the UNAM Governing Board, gave the new rector the Venera, a 12-link chain that ends in a monogram of the university shield, after taking oath of office.
First speech by Leonardo Lomelí as rector of UNAM
In his first speech as the new rector of UNAM, Leonardo Lomelí Vanegas thanked his family, teachers and the members of the Governing Board themselves for giving him the greatest honor of serving his house of studies by being in charge of it and recognized that just as there are strengths there are also challenges that must be faced.
"I assume the Rectorship in a time of constant changes and great challenges. Knowledge is today, more than ever, the most important factor to promote economic growth and the development of society. However, the discomfort with the way that economic globalization has been managed in recent decades and its social costs have also generated a questioning of science and a disenchantment with politics, which translates into extremist attitudes that question not only what is wrong, but also undeniable scientific advances that It is necessary to recognize and evaluate it in its proper dimension," he said after assuming the new assignment.
Lomelí Vanegas committed to increase the different types of scholarships for students, as well as expand the cultural and sports offer and eradicate any type of violence in the institution.
"We are a public university and as such, we continue to be an important channel of social mobility. But at the same time we face the challenge of serving the largest possible number of students and generating the best conditions so that they can take advantage of the opportunity to access higher education. "This involves ensuring their physical and mental well-being and preventing the socioeconomic disadvantages faced by an important sector of our student population from affecting their school performance," he mentioned.
The new rector also spoke out for provide continuity to the plant renovation program and address personnel problems of subject and academic techniques and technicians. "Currently, most of the teaching effort carried out by our university falls on the subject teachers, so it is important to review their working conditions and support their academic improvement," he pointed out.
Furthermore, he recognized the contribution of administrative staff and highlighted the importance of strengthening their training and improving their working conditions.
"The university can carry out its functions to a large extent thanks to the support and willingness to dialogue of the unions that own the collective bargaining contracts of the academic and administrative staff. My gratitude to its executive committees and its members," said.
Lomelí Vanegas also promised that the Defense of the autonomy of UNAM will be a priority and an unavoidable commitment of its management at the head of the Rector's Office, as he said that this has allowed the freedom of teaching, research and cultural dissemination to be fully exercised.
"We are a house of studies in which all social classes and all ideologies come together. A large part of our strength lies in our plurality, hence the importance of defending it against any attempt to impose visions that are assumed to be the only valid ones on social reality and knowledge," he pointed out.
Who is Leonardo Lomelí, new rector of UNAM?
Leonardo Lomelí Vanegas is Graduate in economics and history from UNAM; In addition, he has a master's degree and a doctorate in history. The new rector of the highest house of studies has extensive experience in teaching.
Lomelí Vanegas is a professor at the Faculty of Economics at UNAM, as well as a tutor for the Graduate Program in Economics (master's and doctorate) and in History (master's degree) of the highest university.
He was a visiting researcher at the Center for Historical Studies of El Colegio de México, July 1999 to December 2002, and a research fellow at the Center for Historical Studies of El Colegio de México, from April 1996 to June 1998.
In the administrative academic field he held various positions such as:
- Secretary General of UNAM, as of November 18, 2015.
- Member of the INEHRM Technical Council from January 2019 to January 2022.
- Counselor of the Mexican National Arbitration Commission, from March 15, 2018 to March 15, 2022.
- Member of the Governing Board of El Colegio de Sonora, from August 2015 to November 2021.
- Director of the Faculty of Economics at UNAM.
During his career, he has published various books, among them are:
- State, economy and society in post-revolutionary MexicoLomelí, L. and Gamboa, R. (2023).
- The lessons of the pandemic, MexicoValencia, G., Lomelí, L. and Martínez, N. (2023).
- University and future: the challenges of the pandemicCasanova, H. and Lomelí L. (2022).
- University actions against covid-19. A diagnosis of the university reality in Latin America and the Caribbean during the pandemicLomelí, L., Escalante, R., Suárez, M., and Flores, J., (2022).
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