Dean's Decree No. 1/2022 appointing the Ombudsman of the DAMU
Pursuant to Article 13, clause 3 of the Statutes of the Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague, the Dean of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague is issuing this Decree within the confines of legislation and the internal regulations of AMU and the Faculty, amending and cancelling Dean's Decree No. 2/2021 and appoints a new Ombudsman of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague:
The Ombudsman of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (the “Ombudsman”) is an independent person who, by its actions, creates room for dialogue and confidential assistance to students and staff of the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (the “Theatre Faculty”), in particular, on ethical issues, issues involving working environment culture and prevention of abuse of authority.
Its mission is to engage in creating and ensuring a safe and fair study and working environment as well as promoting their diversity. In line with Section 1 (d) of Act No. 111/1998 Coll., on universities, the Theatre Faculty assumes an active role in public discourse about social and ethical issues, in cultivating cultural diversity and mutual understanding, in developing civil society and preparing young people for life in it. Variety of life opinions and experiences is appreciated as a principal and beneficial quality, in particular in artistic environment. That is also why the Ombudsman should also assist in developing instruments to achieve family, study and work life balance as well as inclusion of any disadvantaged groups.
The Ombudsman’s activities are also integrated in the Theatre Faculty’s structure, they complement the activities of other bodies of the Theatre Faculty and the Ombudsman’s main mission is an advisory, cultivation and mediation role.
Scope of activities
- The Ombudsman:
- protects and assists students and staff of the Theatre Faculty in situations that show signs of inappropriate behaviour such as discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, mobbing, bossing and other forms of inappropriate behaviour that is not approached in line with procedures stipulated by internal guidelines and standards of the Theatre Faculty or the Academy of Performing Arts;
- increases accessibility of various forms and organisation of studies to student with special educational needs;
- contributes to the development of internal culture and democratic working of the Theatre Faculty, is proactive in drawing attention to potential weaknesses of the current practice and proposes possible improvements and solutions.
- Discrimination pursuant to Section 2 of Act No. 198/2009 Coll., Anti-discriminatory Act, is understood to include:
- actions, including omissions, when one person is treated in a less favourable way as opposed to treating or possibly treating another person in a comparable situation, for reasons of race, ethnic origin, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, age, health, belief, religion or world opinion, as well as for reasons of social or state affiliation;
- harassment, sexual harassment, victimisation, an order to discriminate and soliciting discrimination. Discrimination for reasons of sex is also understood to include discrimination for reasons of pregnancy, motherhood or fatherhood and for reasons of gender identification.
- Discrimination also includes actions when a person is treated in a less favourable way on the basis of alleged origin pursuant to (a).
- The Ombudsman conducts its activities pursuant to this Decree as an advisory body of the Dean.
- The Ombudsman may not be sanctioned in any way whatsoever for proper conduct of its activities pursuant to this Decree.
- The Ombudsman complements but does not interfere with the activities of other bodies of the Academy of Performing Arts, in particular, the Faculty Dean, the academic senate of the Faculty, trade unions, the Ethical Committee of the Academy of Performing Arts or the disciplinary commission of the Faculty.
- The position of the Ombudsman is independent of its involvement in other bodies of the Academy of Performing Arts and the faculty and is incompatible with the office of rector, vice rector, bursar, dean, vice dean, secretary of the faculty.
Principle of neutrality and impartiality
- The Ombudsman strives for an impartial, fair and objective approach to the evaluation and resolution of motions and evaluation of rules and processes of the Academy of Performing Arts or the faculty.
- The Ombudsman may not have any personal interest in the motions under consideration. If there is a reason to believe, given the motion under consideration or persons to which the motion relates, that the interests of the Ombudsman dealing with a specific motion are in conflict with the interests of the author and/or the Theatre Faculty, the Ombudsman is obliged to inform the author of the motion and the Dean to that effect immediately.
- The Ombudsman's position is a paid position; the fee is a fixed amount and the Dean determines its amount. The Ombudsman must not allow the fee to influence its conduct of the office.
Principle of confidentiality
- The Ombudsman maintains all communication in strict privacy. All third parties working with the Ombudsman on resolving the specific case shall be subject to the same obligation.
- The Ombudsman must not disclose the identity of the affected person to the third party, it must not provide information that might lead to the anonymity of the affected person being jeopardised, and the exception can be:
- disclosure to the Dean or the Rector;
- a case when such a procedure is allowed by the person concerned explicitly, such consent must be documented in writing;
- a case assessed as a potential threat to life or a severe threat to health;
- a case when such information is requested by laws and regulations.
- If the Ombudsman conducts a statistical processing of information about the persons concerned, it shall do so in a way not jeopardising their anonymity.
- The Ombudsman is responsible for confidentiality and it shall keep support materials and information (for example, notes, telephone messages, appointment schedules, etc.) at a safe place so that nobody can view the same. The Ombudsman is obliged to archive the motions for a period of 5 years from the date of their receipt and it shall follow the practice for liquidation of such information pursuant to the Filing and Shredding Rules of the Academy of Performing Arts.
- A written consent of the appointed person associated with a confidentiality duty about any and all confidential or otherwise sensitive aspects of the motions considered and its activities at this position is a condition for appointing the Ombudsman.
Principle of informality
- The Ombudsman usually works on the basis of informal principles and this is also reflected in the preference of informal instruments to resolve the motions; such instruments can be, for example, listening, providing and accepting information, early identification and prevention of issues, proposals for resolution of issues, and so on.
- The preferred method of dispute resolution is agreement the conclusion of which might be supported by the Ombudsman using all available means, with preference given to organising meetings, mediations or shuttle diplomacy.
Principle of protecting the informant and other parties involved
- A consent of the person who approached the Ombudsman is required for any activity of the Ombudsman.
- The use of the Ombudsman's services is voluntary, it may not be a condition for filing a complaint or during formal resolution of the issue.
- Nobody will and can be exposed to a reprisal for using the services of the Ombudsman on their own or through a person close to them. This protection also applies to persons who provide assistance to the Ombudsman. No person who filed knowingly an untrue motion or provided consciously untrue information can seek protection against reprisal.
Activities of the Ombudsman
Contacting the Ombudsman
- Each member of staff or a student at the Theatre Faculty can contact the Ombudsman and ask for consultation.
- Applicants seeking the services of the Ombudsman can request consultation with it (anonymously, if applicable) in writing, i.e. in a paper document or electronically (by mail, e-mail or data mailbox message) or via telephone or in person.
- Subsequently, the applicant makes an appointment, form and manner of their first meeting pursuant to Clause 8 hereof.
- The first meeting can take the form of an individual personal consultation. It can also take the form of a videoconference call.
- Another person can be invited to take part in the meeting (also a person outside the Academy of Performing Arts) whom the person concerned trusts (for example, a fellow student, a colleague, or a parent).
- At the first meeting, the person concerned selects the communication confidentiality category first. Subsequently, specific details of the situation in issue are discussed. If the person concerned selected anonymous regime of negotiations, they are obliged to demonstrate to the Ombudsman at the first meeting that they comply with the condition of being a member of staff or a student at the Theatre Faculty.
- The Ombudsman shall draft minutes from the first meeting that shall capture the essence of the issue truly and that shall allow the person concerned to comment upon the minutes; the commentary of the person concerned shall be attached to the minutes.
- The result of the first meeting should be one of the possibilities of support or proposed solutions pursuant to Clause 9 hereof.
- The Ombudsman can also agree on a follow-up meeting with the person concerned that could assist in resolving the situation in question.
- The Ombudsman shall respond to the motion within thirty days from the first meeting, at the latest.
Forms of support
- The Ombudsman shall decide first whether or not the motion falls within the scope of its authority. The following motions do not fall within the scope of the Ombudsman’s authority:
a) anonymous; and/or
b) without a proper rationale; and/or
c) meetings with respect to which more than 5 months have elapsed from the date on which the person concerned learned about such a meeting; and/or
d) meetings with respect to which more than 5 years have elapsed from the date on which the meeting was supposed to take place.
- The Ombudsman does not rule about the cases; instead, it provides the parties involved with support and information about possible remedies or resolution within the bodies of the Theatre Faculty or the Academy of Performing Arts.
- Whenever possible, the Ombudsman strives to help the person concerned primarily in a way so as to allow the person concerned to resolve the situation on their own or, alternatively, to resolve the motion at the lowest possible level of the organisational structure of the Theatre Faculty or the Academy of Performing Arts.
- Depending on individual assessment of each case, the Ombudsman can suggest to the person concerned:
- that the case be documented and assist them with drafting a complaint;
- resolution, e.g. by a meeting with the involved parties in the presence of the Ombudsman;
- considering further procedures pursuant to the guidelines and standards of the Theatre Faculty or the Academy of Performing Arts or laws and regulations, as the case may be;
- other internal or external assistance (contact details of a psychological counselling office or non-profit organisations, legal assistance);
- possibility of referring the complaint anonymously through the Ombudsman to the Dean for resolution or to the Rector, as the case may be, faculty disciplinary commission, or the Ethical Commission of the Academy of Performing Arts.
- The Ombudsman can seek expert counselling at its discretion when resolving a motion, upon a prior written consent of the Dean. The Theatre Faculty shall pay the costs of expert counselling.
Powers of the Ombudsman
- In order to resolve a motion, the Ombudsman can request assistance from any member of staff or student of the Academy of Performing Arts.
- The Ombudsman can ask for access to information relevant for the case.
- If the relevant body, member of academic public of the Theatre Faculty or a member of its staff does not follow this Decree, the Ombudsman can file a complaint with the Dean.
Educational activities of the Ombudsman
- The Ombudsman, in co-operation with the management of the faculty, organises seminars and other educational activities that lead to creating and subsequently continuous maintaining of a safe and fair study and working environment at the Academy of Performing Arts.
Report on activities
- The Ombudsman monitors the internal procedures of the Theatre Faculty with the aim of preventing unequal and/or unethical behaviour.
- The Ombudsman presents a brief anonymised general report about its activities on an annual basis to the Dean.
- The report on activities of the Ombudsman contains:
- types of considered cases (number; date of receipt of the motion; department or section affected; method of assessment);
- analysis of trends, issues and defects in terms of rules and procedures of the Academy of Performing Arts;
- proposed system changes, where appropriate.
Filling the position of the Ombudsman
Appointing and removing the Ombudsman
- The Dean appoints and removes the Ombudsman. The Dean appoints the Ombudsman on the basis of a recommendation from the "extended academic public”, elected as stipulated in Clause 15 hereof.
- The term of office of the Ombudsman is usually 2 years and it starts upon appointment.
- The term of office of the Ombudsman ends:
a) on the date on which the term of office passes;
b) upon loss of qualifications to perform the office, in particular, pursuant to Clause 15 (4) in the event of study or another employment at the Academy of Performing Arts;
c) upon delivery of a letter of resignation from office to the Dean;
d) on the date on which it was removed by the Dean even without any reasons indicated;
e) upon death.
Secretary of the Ombudsman
- Following consultations with the Ombudsman, the Dean can authorise a selected member of staff with performing the office of the Ombudsman's secretary. The secretary carries out administrative and technical activities necessary for the Ombudsman’s activities. The secretary is subject to a confidentiality obligation in a similar extent.
Election of the Ombudsman
- Election of the Ombudsman is governed by these provisions and it comprises an election with ensuring equal and direct voting right with electronic secret voting.
- The “extended academic public” of the faculty comprises members of academic staff hired on the basis of selection procedures, students enrolled for study in a study programme organised by the faculty in question and other members of staff employed by the Academy of Performing Arts (the “Technicians and Administrative Staff”). 
- If a student is simultaneously a member of academic staff or a Technician and Administrative Staff, he/she can only vote within the academic staff chamber. If a member of academic staff is simultaneously a Technician and Administrative Staff, he/she can only vote within the academic staff chamber.
- The election is announced by the Dean 30 days prior to the end of the term of office of the standing Ombudsman, at the latest. The notice of the election is published immediately in the public section of the website of the Academy of Performing Arts. In the notice of the election, the Dean can decide that only nominations for candidates who are not employed by or who are not students of the Academy of Performing Arts upon appointment will be accepted. At the same time, the Dean can set criteria for past experience of candidates in legal, psychological or educational areas; the election board is to assess the experience.
- The election is organised and managed by the election board appointed by the Dean. The Dean appoints the chairman of the election board. Members of the election board cannot be candidates.
- The election board is responsible for ensuring proper course of the election and equal and direct voting right by a secret vote. In co-operation with the Dean, the board shall also arrange for information about the date of the election and the manner of selecting the candidates to be provided in a timely manner. The election board is quorate if a majority of its members is present in person or otherwise (e.g. a videoconference call). A decision is passed if majority of present members vote in favour of the decision. The election board votes by acclamation.
- The list of voters is prepared three business days before the first day of the election by an extract of members of academic staff, students and Technicians and Administrative Staff of the Academy of Performing Arts from relevant registers maintained by the Academy of Performing Staff and the list is accepted by the election board.
- The election board collects proposals for candidates that must be presented to it in the prescribed form. Incomplete and erroneous proposals shall be excluded by the election board. The election board shall publish the list of candidates five days prior to the election, at the latest; within the same period of time, the election board may announce an academic assembly where candidates for the Ombudsman are introduced and where they can answer the questions from those who attend and listen to their comments.
- The Dean shall reserve at least two business days in the course of the term when the electronic voting room is opened for the election.
- Each voter can vote only once after proving his/her identity to the election board using the prescribed means of remote communication access. No voting by proxies is possible.
- The ballot must indicate names of all candidates, the method of completing the ballot, i.e. by circling or crossing the names or other methods.
- Vote counting after the end of the election must be attended by no less than three members of the election board. A ballot cast with no selected candidate shall be considered valid. A ballot shall be considered invalid if it contains more selected candidates or if the name of another candidate was added to it and also a ballot on which selection of candidates is not clear (not a ballot with no selected candidate).
- The election board shall establish the election result. The result shall be assessed on or before the date following the last day of the election. The election board shall draft a report about the course of the election, to be signed by the chairman and another member of the board. The chairman of the election board shall submit the results to the Dean.
- The candidate who obtained the highest number of votes is proposed for the Ombudsman. Upon equality of votes, a lot shall be drawn to decide between two candidates with the same number of votes. If a single candidate takes part in the election, such a candidate shall be proposed for the Ombudsman if it obtains majority of all valid cast votes.
- Other candidates who obtained lower numbers of votes and exceeded the limit of 15% of valid cast votes become substitutes; if the Ombudsman’s office is vacated, they are called immediately in the order of the votes they obtained.
- The Dean shall summon a substitute to the vacated office by a letter of appointment. The substitute becomes the Ombudsman upon appointment and its term of office ends on the day on which the term of office of the Ombudsman substituted by the substitute would end.
- If an error occurs that might affect the election results in a gross manner, the election board can propose its repetition to the Dean. The procedure stipulated in Clause 15 (1) to (17) shall apply accordingly to the procedure of organisation of a repeated election. A motion contesting the election results can be lodged in documentary form to the hands of the chairman of the election board within 14 calendar days following the announcement of the election results, at the latest.
- If the report of the election board does not contain any substitute for the vacated office, the Dean shall announce a by-election immediately. Clause 15 (1) to (17) shall apply to the by-election accordingly.
- This Decree cancels Dean’s Decree No. 2/2021.
- This Decree enters into force upon execution and into effect on 20 January 2022.
doc. Mgr. MgA. Karel František Tománek, in his own hand
 Employees in employment pursuant to Section 33 and following of the Labour Code as well as employees on the basis of any of the agreements on work activities carried out outside employment (agreement on performance of work/agreement on work activities) pursuant to Section 74 of the Labour Code.
 Employees in employment pursuant to Section 33 and following of the Labour Code but not employees on the basis of an agreement on work activities carried out outside employment (agreement on performance of work/agreement on work activities) pursuant to Section 74 of the Labour Code.
21. January 2022