On November 17, Shirak State University lecturer Gagik Hambaryan wrote a post on his Facebook page stating that Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Arayik Harutyunyan had been given class hours at Yerevan State University without participating in the competitions for Assistant Professor positions.
“… It turns out that PhD Harutyunyan received a 1.25 class time at the Chair of Arabic Studies each year (September 1, 2011 to August 31, 2018), which many professors dream of, without participating in competitions for Assistant Professor positions (because he did not meet the requirements of the competition and, therefore, did not participate in the competitions knowing in advance that he was going to be excluded)”, Hambaryan wrote, attaching a document to his post.
Was Arayik Harutyunyan the “blue-eyed boy” for Aram Simonyan?
The document published by the lecturer refers to Arayik Harutyunyan’s work activities at Yerevan State University. The document shows that Arayik Harutyunyan, under an employment contract for a definite term, delivered lectures at YSU Chair of Arabic Studies from 2007 till 30.09.2019.
In the post, Gagik Hambaryan notes that although the “first victim” in the higher education sector after the revolution was former YSU rector Aram Simonyan, whom Arayik Harutyunyan “accused of corruption and other crimes”, in reality, Harutyunyan cannot really blame the former rector for “unfair treatment”.
“After all, Arayik Harutyunyan, who, according to rumors in the air, was not distinguished by his mental abilities but received a considerable number of class hours by Aram Simonyan’s order, has no right to defame the former YSU rector or talk about being persecuted under the previous regime… The Minister of Education and Science was the “blue-eyed boy” for the Republican Party and Aram Simonyan, because otherwise, if necessary, they would leave him out from the YSU by holding a competition”, wrote Hambaryan.
Why Arayik Harutyunyan did not participate in the competition
Thus, Gagik Hambaryan claims that Arayik Harutyunyan did not participate in the competitions for assistant positions because he did not comply with their requirements.
It is noteworthy that the same document attached by Hambaryan states that there have been no competitions for Assistant Professor positions in the Chair of Arabic Studies since 2011-2012 academic year.
“Since the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year, due to the change in the number of students, the competition for assistant and lecturer positions at YSU has been temporarily suspended. Accordingly, no tender has been announced for the position of Assistant Professor at the Chair of Arabic Studies at YSU Faculty of Oriental Studies”, the document says. That is to say, according to the document, Arayik Harutyunyan did not take part in the competition for the position of Assistant Professor as there were simply no competitions held.
Nevertheless, in order to make sure that the competitions really did not take place, the Fact Investigation Platform sent an inquiry to Yerevan State University.
In response, YSU reported the following: “In the period 2012-2019, Chair of Arabic Studies of YSU Faculty of Oriental Studies did not announce any competition for the position of Assistant Professor since due to a twelve-year education system, lack of high school graduates and the declining number of births in the republic significant reductions in class hours have been taking place. For the aforementioned reasons, there was no competition for the post of Assistant Professor at the Chair of Arabic Studies. Therefore, the employment contract with Arayik Harutyunyan was extended, taking into consideration the results of his pedagogical activity in the previous academic year.”
As to Arayik Harutyunyan’s 1.25 class hours, according to information provided by YSU, Arayik Harutyunyan’s official rate has been set for 2011-2017 on the basis of workload at the Chair.
Thus, Gagik Hambaryan’s assertion that Arayik Harutyunyan did not participate in the competition for the Assistant Professor’s position because he did not comply with the requirements of the competition does not correspond to reality. Competitions for the post of Assistant Professor have not been held since 2012.