New Dean of LSMU Faculty of Animal Sciences Prof. E. Bartkienė Will Promote Leadership, Independent Decision-Making and Taking Responsibility for Them

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New Dean of the Faculty of Animal Sciences of the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) Prof. Elena Bartkienė is a long-term, well-known and appreciated member of the community. She started her new job just before the Christmas holidays. Today, the professor tells us with what thoughts, aspirations and goals she has taken the place at the helm of the faculty.

With what professional experience did you come to the office of Dean?

“I was born and raised in Kaunas. I obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Kaunas University of Technology. I have done my dissertation at the University of Vienna, the Technical Research Centre of Finland and the German Martin Luther University. In 2005, I defended my doctoral thesis in chemistry in the field of physical sciences at Kaunas University of Technology.”

In 2005 I started my pedagogical work at the Department of Food Safety and Animal Hygiene of the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy (LVA). When the LVA merged with Kaunas University of Medicine (KMU), I continued my career in the Department of Food Safety and Quality at LSMU. In 2018, I was elected head of the Animal Rearing Technology Institute of the Faculty of Animal Sciences of the LSMU Veterinary Academy, and in 2021 – a full member (academician) of the Agricultural and Forestry Sciences Division of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Current and future studies are related to the development of sustainable production concepts and (bio) technologies in agriculture.

For almost 10 years I was the Chairwoman of the Study Committee of Food Science Studies at LSMU. Currently I am a member of the Study Committees of Food Science and Food Safety study programmes and scientific consultant of the LSMU SMD Food Science group. Under my leadership, six dozen students who carried out scientific work published the results in publications referenced in the Web of Science database, as well as other peer-reviewed scientific publications and conference materials. This experience is especially pleasant – it is very pleasant that the next generations are seriously interested in the chosen speciality, understand the importance of this speciality for the public welfare and seek scientific substantiation in their experiments.

I also have experience in various expert activities, I am an editor and guest editor of international scientific publications, a member of international organisations. I participate in evaluation of study programmes in other countries, carry out scientific activities, have experience in managing and implementing national and international projects.

What experience do you hope to best reveal and use in your new job? 

All the experience so far has been valuable. It is very important for me to use my experience in building the faculty community and to create a cultured and constructive environment for all of us. I plan to promote leadership, independent decision-making and taking responsibility for them. This is very important for progress in all areas of the faculty’s activities.

Usually, new important duties begin with a certain goal, an idea. With what idea do you come to this position? 

A lot of ideas were generated. However, I cannot single out one idea that is more important than the others – all of them are related and all of them will be implemented in parallel.

The work of the Dean is very responsible. Are you planning or have you already made any changes, optimisation of activities? What are the plans and future plans?

Yes, these duties are very responsible, but the Dean works in a team, consults with the community, discusses and only then makes final decisions. The project of the Faculty’s operational plan for the next 5 years has been presented at various levels and discussions about planned activities have taken place. According to the results of the election of the Dean, I can guess that we, the faculty community, see the aspirations and their implementation in the same direction.

What kind of leader do you think yourself to be?

It is hard to see yourself as a leader. However, I am demanding of myself in fulfilling my obligations, so I expect the same from those around me.

What is your favourite leisure activity?

I can’t pick out my favourite activities – there are so many interesting and pleasant things to do. I like music, simple walks around my native Kaunas, time with friends, and trips farther away from home. All of these activities make for a wonderful free time.

How do you relax after a busy day?

I enjoy my job and am happy to be back home after work. Maybe when you enjoy what you do, you don’t need any special relaxation techniques. If you succeed, you are happy with the result, if you fail – you improve with an optimistic attitude that you will succeed next time.