People and Funding
Most of the Observatory’s work is the implementation of and the guardianship of the Magna Charta Universitatum. Thus, the signatories, the representatives of universities, of academic bodies, of the higher education community are the main actors. This undertaking needs an organizational backbone, the Council of the Magna Charta Observatory:
The Observatory draws on the expertise of a small number of committed individuals all of whom have been chosen amongst those who play a leading role in the defence of the fundamental university values and rights. The Council includes ongoing representation of the EUA and the University of Bologna, while most members have been coopted from allied organisations such as the Council of Europe or UNESCO or the ESU. These individual members are current or former rectors, senior representatives of major higher education organisations or former ministers of education.
All members work pro bono and do not get any compensation for their work. A Secretary General appointed by the Council develops the strategy of the Observatory, in collaboration with the Administrator.
The President of the Council is Dr Sijbolt Noorda (President Emeritus of the University of Amsterdam). Prof. Fabio Roversi-Monaco (Former Rector of the University of Bologna) is Honorary President.
Until now, the sole funding for the Observatory has been a yearly subsidy from the Italian Government, now of approximately 140,000€. The Fondazione Carisbo in Bologna contributed to the establishment of the Observatory upon its founding. The Observatory is under continuous audit supervision and fulfils the requirements of a charitable foundation.
The Observatory is looking for independent donors who would support the mission and the activities of the Observatory in three ways:
* Help build an endowment: in the long term, an endowment of 5-7 million Euros shall be built. Funders are invited to support this idea by contributions over the next five years.
* Regular annual contributions between 50,000 and 100,000 Euros for general support of the Observatory’s programmes and operations (e.g. the annual conference, case studies, publications; maintaining the level of communication and services by the secretariat).
* Contingent donations and sponsoring of special activities, such as the extension of the Observatory’s reach or the addition of new activities (e.g. conferences worldwide as part of the global outreach. Commissioning of expert studies on special cases upon request by signatories, field studies).
Apart from the administrative costs, funding supports in depth research, usually requiring visits to the respective regions or countries, publications, that can be freely download from the website. Additionally, the funding is used to organise conferences, seminars, workshops and Summer schools on regular basis or in response to urgent situations.