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Brief history of the Faculty

ESTABLISHMENT AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE FACULTY OF FORESTRY IN BELGRADE

FORERUNNER OF THE FORESTRY PROFESSION

PERIOD BEFORE 1919

In the 19th century, there were no foresters in Serbia, and they were educated abroad as state  cadets, primarily in Germany. One of them is Aleksa Stojković, who completed his education in Taranto in 1859. In the following period particular forestry experts of secondary and higher education from the Austro-Hungarian Empire would come to Serbia to work, and they were mostly Czechs.

Due to the problem in connection with the growing destruction of forests that was increasingly coming out to the public, arose the need for domestic experts. After the termination of classes in agronomy, which were held at the Lyceum or the Great School (1868 god.) by Josif Pančić, the National Assembly has raised the question of the education of agricultural and forestry workers. As early as in 1870, the National Assembly discussed the draft law on the establishment of an  agricultural school, whose task was to train people procurement clerks and foresters (district and county). This law was adopted on 24th October, 1870.

According to this law Agricultural-Forestry School, in which young men got the necessary scientific and practical work to prepare for agricultural workers and managers of field estates and forests, was aimed at improving agriculture and forestry in Serbia. The school could be attended only by boys no younger than 15, and no older than 20. Young men needed to have previously completed four grades of high school or secondary school. Apart from regular students, the school could have been attended by other students, but at their own expense. The school was of a boarding school type and lasted for three years. The curriculum contained general and vocational subjects. Teaching programs were adopted by the Teaching Council and approved by the Minister of Finance.

The school was supposed to be opened in Kragujevac, but due to a lack of accommodation (the building of the school was yet to be built) it was temporarily opened in Požarevac. The school worked from 1872 to 1881, when it was abolished. After the abolition of this school in Serbia there were no high-school or higher education institutions for foresters until the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture.

 

FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY

PERIOD UNTIL 1930

The University Act of 1905, which declared the Great School a University and which established the Faculties of Philosophy, Law and the Faculty of Engineering, contains a provision on the establishment of the Agricultural department at the Faculty of Philosophy. A formal decision on the introduction of agricultural sciences at the University of Belgrade was adopted in 1907. A special commission was formed to study this issue. It was concluded that a Faculty of Agriculture should be established, and not the Department of Agriculture of the Faculty of Philosophy. However, neither the Department nor the Faculty were established, partly because of differences in the opinions on its profile. Wartime conditions affected the adoption of the final decision, so that the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture was not reinitiated until 1918.

In March 1919, the Ministry of Education launched the initiative for the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture with a letter to the Rector of the University. A commission was formed and as early as on 20th May, it submitted a positive report, which, among other things, expressed their opinion that teaching at the Faculty of Agriculture could start in the winter semester of 1919.

Representative of the Minister of Forests and Mines, Dr. Petar Đorđević believed that due to their importance forests should not be underestimated and that the name of the future faculty should be extended to the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry with two departments:

  • Department of Agriculture,
  • Department of Forestry.

In 1919 “Official Gazette” (no. 85, Vol. I, of 23rd August) published the Law on Amendments to the Law on University of 27th February 1905, which stated that the University had six faculties: of Philosophy, Law, Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine and Theology. From this it can be seen that preparations for the establishment and initial operation of the Faculty of Agriculture were taken before the publication of the law on its establishment.

Registrars committee consisting of Dr. Jovan Cvijić, Dr. Zivojin Đorđević and Dr. Bogdan Gavrilović conducted preparations for the establishment and initiation of work at the Faculty of Agriculture.

Dr. Petar Đorđević, chief of the Ministry of Forests and Mining, who was the first Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture was elected at a newly established Faculty Council, at its regular meeting on 20th July 1920, and he was also elected for a full professor of special botany for farmers and foresters.

The First Regulation of the Faculty of Agriculture was adopted on 11th February 1921. Enrollment of students in the first semester was conducted in the academic year 1920/1921, and classes began on 5th December 1920. The first generation consisted of 45 enrolled students, of which 36 of the Department of Agriculture and 9 of the Department of Forestry.

The regulation also contained provisions on a part-time study. A part-time student had to either had finished a vocational forestry high school or 6 grades of secondary school (gymnasium or secondary school). They could not take exams, but were issued certificates of attendance of lectures and exercises in certain subjects. They could work in training classrooms and laboratories if there was a place for them.

Accommodation conditions at the Faculty were very unfavorable, and teaching was held in several university, government and even private buildings. This situation was rather disruptive for normal teaching. It had a negative impact on the regular development of the material base of teaching, and in particular on the creation of specific university atmosphere and intimacy of students, both with the teaching staff and among themselves.

The realization of the curricula faced significant difficulties. In the first place, problems were related to subjects such as chemistry, physics, zoology and other subjects, which represent the link between general and vocational fields of scientific issues. Students of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry attended some lectures (e.g. chemistry, zoology, physics) together with students from other faculties (Faculty of Philosophy, Engineering and Medicine). This resulted in significant migration of students from the Belgrade Faculty of Agriculture to Zagreb and vice versa, in order for them to take exams in certain subjects (e.g. Belgrade students used to take the zoology exam in Zagreb and Zagreb students used to take mathematics in Belgrade).

Simultaneously with the above-mentioned problems, the problem of teaching staff was also being solved. Forestry did not have a broad base of expertise for the selection of teaching staff at the Forestry department. In the next few years a number of teachers and assistants were selected for common and especially for forestry disciplines.

During the validity of the 1924 Regulation (1924-1932) only 196 students graduated during these 9 years, i.e. an average of 22 students per year. Among the graduates was a significant number of refugees from Russia (refugees after the October Revolution).

 

        Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry

PERIOD FROM 1930 TO 1949

According to the University Law of 28th June 1930, the University of Belgrade has six faculties, including the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry. The term “forestry” first appeared in the name of a faculty right here. The Regulation on the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry from 1932 was produced on the basis of this law. The Regulation said that the primary task of the Faculty was education of professionals, while scientific research was secondary. The organizational side of scientific work in scientific institutes and classrooms was covered in detail.

From a total of 18 institutes, the first four predominantly include common subjects. Forestry subjects were: General and Special Botany, Dendrology, Applied Zoology and Entomology, Agrogeology and soil science and forestry chemical technology.

The 4 institutes included technical forestry subjects:

 

Institute for forest management, dendrometry and valuation of forests;

Institute for forest utilization with mechanical wood processing;

Department of establishment, silviculture and protection of forests with hunting  management;

Department of forest policy, forest governance with accounting and statistics – trade in forest products.

Subjects were distributed in five Cabinets:

1) physics, meteorology with climatology;

2) Plant pathology;

3) Geodesy with topographic drawing;

4) Forest transport vehicles, agricultural and forestry construction;

5) Torrent control, cultural techniques.

 

In addition to that, the Institute for Scientific Forest Research was established. The organization and work of this institute were governed by a special regulation, which was adopted in agreement between the Minister of Education and Minister of Forests and Mines. The institute showed relative success in its work, because the financing was almost symbolic, and the number of scholars was small. This institute was the cornerstone of subsequent scientific research in forestry within an independent (out-of-faculty) institute.

It is also important to mention the provision on the experimental estate at the University domain in Debeli Lug near Majdanpek, which should serve for scientific and practical purposes of the Faculty.

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry solved its existential issue. It moved into its still completely unfinished building in Zemun, built on land donated to the University (Faculty) by the Municipality of Zemun. The construction of this building began in 1930 and it was completed and officially opened on 15th December 1933.

It should be noted that with the relocation of the Faculty to the new building, began an intensive equipping of university institutes and laboratories with modern equipment, that university library was enriched, so that the life and work of the Faculty soon reached the standard of other, older faculties of Belgrade University.

According to another Regulation from 1939, which refers to the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry Faculty in Belgrade and Zagreb, the Faculty had 20 chairs. The Institute for Scientific Forest Research had the same position and task as in the previous regulation.

A few years before World War II there have been some significant changes in the teaching and other staff. Faculty had 21 teachers who taught 34 subjects. Purely forestry subjects were taught by 4 full professors and 3 associate professors. The rest were common to both departments. The number of assistants in forestry subjects was very small.

The issue of textbooks was only partially resolved. Textbooks from corresponding faculties (mathematics, physics, chemistry) were used for general and basic subjects. A number of printed textbooks were in use for vocational subjects. Authorized and unauthorized textbook drafts were used for a number of subjects. Their publication costs were covered by the authors themselves, which was one of the main reasons for the unsatisfactory situation in the field of textbooks.

There was no compulsory field study. The University estate in Debeli Lug was not organizationally ready to accept more students for a longer period of time. Study tours to various parts of the country, and even abroad, were performed mainly at the expense of students.

From the effective date of the 1932 Regulation to the downtime of the Faculty of  Forestry caused by war operations, a total of 493 forestry engineers graduated or in total 689 after the recovery of the Faculty after the liberation, among whom there were 16 foreigners (Bulgarians). This period is very important, as it is the evidence of significantly higher average of graduates in one year, which accounted for 49 new engineers. All this testifies of the growing interest of young people in the forestry profession. It should be noted that the data on the number of graduates at Belgrade Forestry department are not totally accurate because the archive of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry was destroyed (burned) during the liberation of Belgrade in October 1944.

The development of the Forestry department within the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry was interrupted by the bombing of Yugoslavia in April 1941. At the beginning of the war, the Faculty interrupted its regular work, there was no enrollment of new generations, and for some time exams could only be taken by final year students.

In the autumn of 1941, the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry moved from its building in Zemun to Belgrade and it was placed in the corridors and basements of the new University building (now the Faculty of Science) in the Student square. Termination of work at the Faculty was accompanied by a large loss of teachers (some retired, for some the contract was terminated, and some individuals were in captivity, while some other were considered missing).

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry reached liberation materially completely destroyed. The Faculty burned in 1944. Since the building in Zemun was occupied by a military hospital, the Faculty was temporarily placed in the building of the  Girls’ first gymnasium in Georgi Dimitrov Street, where classes began in the academic year 1945/46.

For the Forestry Department the biggest problem was teaching staff. Regeneration of the teaching staff was difficult. On the one hand, there was a need for classes at all four years of study, but on the other, there was a lack of a large number of professionals with qualifications of university professors.

The Faculty moved to its own building in Zemun in 1946. There was enough space, but not enough equipment. With great effort began the supply of laboratories and training rooms with equipment, so that the teaching slowly started to be normalized.

Since the university building was designed for a relatively small number of students, and the first post-war generation was numerous, there was a shortage of space. Very soon, the existing building got one more floor, but that was not the final solution. Final solution to the problem of space shortage started only after the establishment of the independent Faculty of Forestry.

Since the establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture in 1920 to the start of work of the independent Faculty of Forestry, the number of graduates reached a total of 758.

 

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INDEPENDENT FACULTY OF FORESTRY

 

PERIOD SINCE 1949

 

On February 5th 1949 with the Regulation of the Government of the Republic of Serbia the Faculty of Agriculture and the Faculty of Forestry were established as two independent higher education institutions. The newly established Faculty of Forestry of the University of Belgrade was the first Faculty of Forestry in the former FNR Yugoslavia.

The first dean of the independent Faculty of Forestry was engineer Sreten Rosić, associate professor, who was supposed to face many tasks. One of the most important problems was the accommodation of the Faculty, since the building of the former Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry was too small for the development of both faculties, as independent separate units. This problem started to be solved with funds received for the construction of a new building of the Faculty of Forestry in Bežanijska kosa. The building was designed according to the needs of the Faculty. After completion of the rough construction works, the construction stopped and the issue of the building was resolved in a different way. With the Decision of the National Committee of Belgrade of 2nd April 1953, the building in Bežanijska kosa was ordered for other purposes, and the Faculty of Forestry was assigned the unfinished building of the former training center of the Ministry of Transport, located on Banovo brdo, with a plot size of about 10 hectares. A partial relocation to the new building took place at the beginning of 1954, although the building was not completely finished. This basically resolved the issue of accommodation.

The first statute of the Faculty of Forestry was adopted on 1st October 1956 and two departments were formed: Forestry and Wood industry. The establishment of Wood-industrial department at the Belgrade Faculty of Forestry is the first one at forestry faculties in Yugoslavia. This statute was the initiation of a period of great change at the Faculty of Forestry, in terms of analyzing the profile of professionals who graduate from the Faculty.

According to the Statute of 1957/58, the emphasis was on the acquisition of literature, which was necessary for teaching at the Faculty.

Five departments were founded at the Faculty of Forestry in 1960:

 

* Department of Forestry

* Department of greening of residential areas;

* Department of erosion and torrents;

* Department of mechanical wood processing;

* Department of chemical wood processing.

In 1961 the Department of Forestry was divided into:

* Department of silviculture;

* Department of forest exploitation.

 

The main motive of all these changes is separation from the classical scope of forestry experts in all these activities that began to become independent in practice.

In 1966 there were four departments at the Faculty of Forestry and a working unit – Faculty Secretariat, which was equal to departments. Instead of the head of department, departments had a chief of department.

That same year, the Faculty had 26 institutes, which were educational and scientific in nature, engaged in scientific work in order to improve teaching and the profession.

With the Statute which was in effect from 21st  December 1973 departments become self-governing institutes, namely:

* Institute of Forestry;

* Institute of Wood Processing;

* Institute of Landscape Architecture;

* Institute for Water Management of Erodible Areas.

Due to the change of name, there is also a change in responsibilities and tasks, of which the most important one is additional cooperation with other  organized labor cooperatives (cooperation with industry).

The institutes have joined together into the Faculty of Forestry as a working community. This form of organization was in practice the longest and, like every other form, it had both good and bad sides.

Since 1977 there have been separate statutes for each institute at the Faculty of Forestry, and everything that exists at the Faculty of administrative authorities at the Faculty level also existed at the level of institutes, except the Dean. The institutes had an important role and gave delegates for the Faculty bodies.

Significant changes occurred in 1978, when the scope of work of the institutes was defined. The Faculty organized lower units and they are:

1.Departments (lower working units of the institutes);

  1. Cabinets (foreign languages, publishing and scientific informatics).

 

With the Statute of April 5th 1988, the Faculty conducts teaching and scientific research activities as a single organization.

Since the establishment of the independent Faculty of Forestry until 30th June 1990, a total of 4 421 students graduated at all Faculty departments.

      

     WORK AND DEVELOPMENT OF FACULTY OF FORESTRY IN THE 1990-1995 PERIOD

 

Since 1990, the names Department and Head of Department have been in use again. Institutes were not part sof the organization of the Faculty any more. Two groups of factors or circumstances were crucial for the operation and development of the Faculty of Forestry in the period from 1995 1990. First, substantial changes were made in the organization of the Faculty – including belonging of the former Faculty estate to the Faculty structure. The second circumstance were radical changes in Yugoslavia – fall apart, civil war, sanctions, making the work of the Faculty difficult. On 1st August 1990 the experimental estate of the Faculty was merged with the Faculty (and it ceased to exist as an independent organization).

The estate was established by the Faculty of Forestry on 25th December 1956 with the aim to serve for the needs of practical training of students, scientific research and forest management, as well as the field, practical training of students of the forestry technical schools. Since 1974 the experimental estate has focused its activity towards its own development. In the first half of its existence, operation and development it mainly “served to the Faculty”, while in the second half is it was more “served by the Faculty”. Such work and operation significantly affected forest devastation – especially the height and structure of the growing stock and the level of utilization of production potentials of forest sites.

In 1990 a common first year of study for all 4 educational profiles was introduced at the Faculty of Forestry and the first two years were common for three educational profiles- departments: Forestry, Erosion control and Landscape Architecture. Such an organization of the teaching process provided a great opportunity to students. After completing the first year, all students were able to change their department.

Scientific research was funded from two main sources: the financing of scientific projects and through research with enterprises and other institutions.

With the introduction of sanctions, scientific work in the country became difficult. However, this was not the case with the Faculty of Forestry. According to data of the University Library, no faculty except for the Faculty of  Forestry received foreign newspapers and publications.

1919

On August 23rd the Law on Changes and Amendments to the Law on University was adopted 1919 making official the establishment of The Faculty of Agriculture with two departments: Agriculture and Forestry within the University of Belgrade (The Law on Changes and Amendments to the Law onUniversity, The Official Gazette of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians no.85/1919).

1920

The lessons of higher education in the field of forestry in Serbia started on December 5th at the Department of Forestry of the Faculty of Agriculture. The day of the Faculty of Forestry is December 5th and it is celebrated every year.

1930

The enactment of the new law on university led to the change in the name of the Faculty of Agriculture to the Faculty of AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY.

1932

The Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry moved into the new building in Zemun.

1949

On February 5th the Faculty of Forestry became independent, with the Regulation of the Government of PR Serbia no.39 (The Official Gazette of PRS no.6/49) as the first separate Faculty of Forestry (of the total of five faculties of forestry and agriculture at that time) in Yugoslavia.

1953

On April 2nd the decision of the National Committee of Belgrade brought about separation of the Faculty of Forestry into the building in Kneza Višeslava no. 1 Street in Banovo Brdo, where the faculty moved in in the autumn of 1954.

1956

On September 12th the first statute was brought. According to it the Faculty had two departments:

  • Forestry
  • Wood industry

1960

The Faculty consisted of five departments:

  • Department of Forestry;
  • Department of Mechanical Wood Processing;
  • Department of Chemical Wood Processing;
  • Department of Urban Green Spaces Growing;
  • Department of Erosion and Amelioration.

1966

The Faculty consisted of four departments:

  • Department of Forestry;
  • Department of Wood Industry;
  • Department of Horticulture;
  • Department of Erosion and Amelioration.

1970

The Faculty celebrated half a century of existence and work.

1974

The Faculty consisted of four departments:

  • Department of Forestry;
  • Department of Wood Processing;
  • Department of Landscape Architecture;
  • Department of Water management in Erodible Areas.

1994

The Faculty consisted of four departments:

  • Department of Forestry;
  • Department of Wood Processing;
  • Department of Landscape Architecture;
  • Department of Erosion Control

2002

The Faculty consisted of four departments:

  • Department of Forestry;
  • Department of Wood Processing;
  • Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture;
  • Department of Erosion Control and Torrent Management

2003.

With the Decision of the Faculty Council the Faculty has 4 instead of 3 vice-deans:

*Vice-Dean for Education;

* Vice-Dean for financial and material issues;

* Vice-Dean for science, research and international cooperation;

* Student Vice-Dean.

2005/2006

Change to Bologna Declaration system

2006

The faculty consists of four departments:

  • Department of Forestry;
  • Department of Wood Processing;
  • Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture;
  • Department of Ecological Engineering for Soil and Water Resources Protection.

2013

The faculty consists of four departments:

  • Department of Forestry;
  • Department of Technologies, Management and Design of Furniture and Wood Products;
  • Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture;
  • Department of Ecological Engineering for Soil and Water Resources Protection.