The first day of 4 more years of life
Punctuality is British when it comes to formal meetings at the Faculty.
But this was no ordinary meeting.
The election had taken place on 26 June, the day on which it we learned he had won unanimously.
On 9 July, the Director of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, Fausto J. Pinto, took office for a new term.
There were many guests, whose presence asserted the importance of this Inauguration. The Rector of the University of Lisbon, representatives of Schools of the University of Lisbon, the Clinical Director and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the CHLN, the Chairman of Infarmed, several professors, former Directors of the Faculty, students, members of the Student Association and some employees.
After a short wait that allowed a first-glance reunion between old friends, or mere colleagues, in the corridor, the Direction room got packed, as people stood shoulder to shoulder and joyfully chatted to each other.
The Chairman of the School Board, José Ferro, opened the ritual, asking for a belief to become a reality: "Unanimously elected, Professor Fausto was recognised for the work and leadership he has shown over the last few years, but also for the hope and certainty we have that the Professor will have to implement the programme he has submitted." He also stressed the importance of a good coordination of the CAML's relations - "our relations with the iMM and, in particular, with the CHLN are very important, as they are key for us to carry out our mission."
Apparently calm and clearly happy, Fausto J. Pinto talked about the renewal of his mandate and the continuity he intends to pursue in structuring areas - Teaching and Medical Education; Internationalisation and External Relations; Promotion and Innovation of Science, and Administrative Organisation and Modernisation - which remain as cornerstones, despite the constant search for innovation. "We need to look to the future with optimism, despite the national pessimism, but I am a realistic optimist and I will seek to find some optimism amidst the existing realism. I'm counting on your joint support, as that is the only way we can succeed, and you can count on me and my Direction to continue fighting for this faculty."
The Rector, António Cruz Serra, also wanted to offer a word of support to the Faculty and the Director, saying "you know you can count on me. I would like to reiterate my support to the construction of the amphitheatre (Aula Magna), which is underway. To the students I would like to say that we will put the first two hundred openings (in university residences) out to tender.
But because major events entail more than just celebrations, the Rector also took the opportunity to comment on the challenges looming on the horizon for the regularisation of contracts for researchers and professors with doctoral degrees who are in precarious conditions and for the lack of information of the media on what, according to him, is an enormous step backwards from the progressive era of Mariano Gago. "I have never witnessed such a major violation of university autonomy as that arising from this process."
Once the formal intentions and the paths that the institutions may follow were addressed, the rest of the meeting was marked by conviviality and celebration; after all, it was the formal confirmation of the choice of a leader.
9 July was the first day of the rest of 4 strong years of life.
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