December 7 turned 195 years since the founding of the Peter the Great Strategic Missile Forces Military Academy. For the third time in its nearly two centuries of history The university meets its birthday in a new place.
For the first time it happened in 1938 year after the relocation from Leningrad to Moscow by the decision of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR. The second time was in 1941 – 1943, when the academy was evacuated from besieged Moscow to Samarkand (1944 was returned to the capital in August). And finally, the third move - to Balashikha near Moscow - was made this summer.
Moving under cover of secrecy
From the very beginning, the withdrawal of the Academy from Moscow was shrouded in a veil of secrecy, or rather, disinformation. Thus, the purpose of this action was initially called the creation of a military training and scientific center (VUNC) on a single separate space of the Strategic Missile Forces as part of the Academy and the 4 Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense. Moreover, the option of basing the VUNC in Balashikha at first was not even considered, but became public only after visiting the Defense Minister of the Military-Technical University 7 in February of the current year. Then, when in March-April the concept of expanding the VUNC network of the Ministry of Defense was recognized by the Security Council as erroneous, the need to redeploy the academy was explained by the creation of conditions for its transformation into an exemplary university. Without the expansion of the territory with the planned development of modern infrastructure facilities this was declared impossible. Available official information about the future destination of the hectares of expensive land liberated by the 11 Academy in the center of Moscow was absent.
26 June, at the time of the removal of equipment and property, there were no official documents on the redeployment of the level of the government or the Minister of Defense, all cargo handling and other activities were carried out solely on the basis of oral orders.
28 of August Sergei Shoigu signed the corresponding directive with the date of execution of September 1, which entered the Academy only on September 3.
By the end of July, despite attempts to counteract the public, the relocation of the university was largely completed. The officers and cadets did a tremendous job of dismantling, loading and unloading equipment, documentation and property, which fortunately did without serious injuries.
For the sake of the speedy release of buildings at Kitaigorodsky Passage, when funds in Balashikha were unwilling to accept all the property of the Academy, its export was carried out at several addresses: to a limited extent - to buildings and structures in Balashikha, the rest - to the Academy's suburban training center, in its Serpukhov branch, in 4- th Central Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense (Korolev) and other places. During August-September, intensive work was carried out on the elementary arrangement of the redeployed units in the new location by forces (and partly at personal expense) of permanent officers and cadets. Including the re-equipment of one (temporarily free) cadet barracks for the placement of some departments and services. No assistance was provided in these construction works of the Academy. At the same time, we must pay tribute to the Minister of Defense, who fulfilled everything he promised. The academy’s staff includes an automobile unit, buses are allocated, and the necessary number of contract drivers has been assembled from the RVSN units from all over the country. This made it possible to organize regular delivery of academy employees from the nearest metro stations to Balashikha and back, which did not shorten the duration of the ride, but at least made it cheaper. By the decision of Sergei Shoigu, to compensate for wage losses, civilian teachers and researchers who agreed to continue working at the academy after her move to Balashikha, were set additional monthly incentive payments. True, their regular implementation is not yet established. In addition, they became the cause of contention between two categories of academy employees: those who moved from Moscow (the payments are meant for them) and those who were hired after September 1 (this surcharge is not common for them).
On top of that, the management was forced to agree with temporary double basing: because of the impossibility of locating in Balashikha, the Academy’s research center, together with the department for organizing scientific work and training scientific and pedagogical personnel, remains in Moscow’s squares. Here also continue their work and dissertation councils. Some employees are waiting for other permanent or service housing to stay in the dormitories of the Academy in Moscow. In the previous mode, while the indoor swimming pool and dining room of Voentorg are functioning.
29 in August at the new location of the academy are sworn in by the cadets of the 2015 recruitment of the year, the regular semester is opened in the traditional rally on September 1, the 7 anniversary of December held events dedicated to the 195 anniversary of the university. Thus, the task of forced redeployment of the Academy, set by the Minister of Defense, was formally successfully fulfilled. The main academic buildings of the academy have been released, although they have not yet been transferred to anyone. And from the informal?
Muddle instead of studying
Ends first semester. As a result of the inexplicable haste and unpreparedness of the move, he was crumpled. Due to the delay in issuing the administrative document of the Ministry of Defense on redeployment, the academy approached the beginning of the school year without a new charter, without a renewed license for educational activities, without re-registration at the new address of dissertation councils, without having . That is, in general, without formal grounds for existence itself as an organization of higher education, especially as an “academy”. This legal conflict resulted in a whole bunch of violations in the area of labor law. Civilian personnel have not been officially notified, as required by the Labor Code of the Russian Federation, of a transfer to another job (this is how a transfer to work in another locality is interpreted together with the employer). Accordingly, no one gave a written consent to continue work (this is also a mandatory norm of labor law), and previously concluded employment contracts should have lost their force. By hook or by crook, the issue of reissuing a license was finally resolved by mid-November, but this is only the first step. The second should be the state accreditation of all educational programs. Objectively, the academy is not ready for it, although in our present reality this does not exclude the possibility of obtaining relevant evidence.
In the absolute majority of cases, the placement conditions of officers and civilian personnel do not meet the standards, excessive constraint does not contribute to effective work.
For classes, there is a catastrophic shortage of audiences with the required landing capacity, computer classes, especially with Internet access, the internal local area network does not have adequate performance, and there are no conditions for carrying out laboratory work in physics, chemistry, and other natural sciences. The work with secret documentation, its reproduction and processing has not been established yet. Without this, a purely regime academy simply cannot function normally.
The quality of the classes is negatively affected by the absence of special educational facilities at special departments, most of them temporarily exported to other places. So, classes in the study of rocket technology have to be held in a country training center in Balabanovo, to move to which it takes four hours each way.
The system of scientific work that has taken shape at the academy over many decades has been destroyed: the main objects of the material base of research at the old place have been dismantled, and at the new one they have not been recreated. The departments, doctoral candidates, adjuncts, students and cadets are located in Balashikha, and the research center (without secret documentation and the library), the department of organizing scientific work and the training of scientific and pedagogical personnel with the department of military-technical information and the Bureau of Invention, in Moscow. with uncertain periods of stay in the old territory.
During the first semester, regular detachment from cadets' classes continued for work in progress on the removal of property from Moscow, in particular the museum’s exposition, the printing house, the fundamental library, and the emptying of educational buildings from decommissioned and broken furniture, dismantling and disposal of equipment.
Fortunately, for the time being it is not necessary to talk about a mass exodus from the academy of qualified personnel. But there are losses. For example, at the department of mathematics there was not a single doctor of physical and mathematical sciences, the department of natural sciences was left by all doctors of science and professor-mechanics. In general, by the middle of December, the decline of doctors and candidates of sciences was about 10 percent, which is far from the critical level (up to 70 percent), which was predicted by opponents of unprepared redeployment. And it's not the prognosis wrong. If this were so, the leadership of the Ministry of Defense would not have considered it. Accordingly, it would not take costly parry measures. At this stage, these measures, together with a number of other circumstances, have played a positive damping role. To some extent, the fulfillment of the obligations of the Ministry of Defense to reduce the severity of the transport problem and compensate for the financial losses of research and teaching staff from among civilian personnel, as well as the tacit introduction of so-called flexible working hours for them, affected it. In addition, the delay of organizational and staff measures, which they assumed (and as far as we know, still assume), was used as a deterrent factor for the dismissal of some permanent officers. The dismissals of civilian employees who made such decisions for themselves, apparently, were postponed by them until they received the due bonus payments under the May decree of the President of 2012 for the first to fourth quarters. The fact is that funds for this from the budget of the Ministry of Defense are allocated only at the end of the year. Therefore, people who quit earlier, their current labor and creative achievements are not taken into account in the calculation, since the actual amount of funds that will be allocated for bonuses is unknown. And the most important thing is that the conditions of temporary double-based allowed to get rid of the immediate and painful separation from the university, a large number of doctors of the age. Today, directly in Balashikha, only about 40 percent of the remaining doctors of science serve in the Academy, of which three quarters are on the very flexible schedule. About 60 percent reassigned to academic positions and while working in units on the Moscow site, forming the basis of dissertation councils.
Three whales for sustainability
The fate of the academy, which is experiencing today the most difficult period in its history, is still not indifferent to its veterans, including those who actively opposed the move. Although some of the leaders are trying to label the initiators of these actions almost as enemies of the academy, university veterans are interested in only one thing: that the state matter to which they dedicate themselves should not be ruined because of the unreasonable decisions of individual bosses. In practical terms, today it comes down to preventing the further destabilization of the team and ensuring minimization of the duration of the transition phase of the academy to sustainable development.
In this regard, the key, in our opinion, are three points.
The first is the unconditional recognition that the academy as a training and research center as a result of the redeployment has lost much of its position and this can in no way be compensated by the good condition of the infrastructure facilities of the former VTU provided for use, nor by the incentive payments, much less flexible working hours.
The second and perhaps the main key point is that the real movement towards the revival of the academy will mark only the beginning of the full-scale construction of the missing new buildings and facilities. According to the long-term development plan of the university approved by the Minister of Defense, it should have started as early as the fourth quarter of the current year, and completed on priority objects by December 2016. While construction has not begun. If, due to an economic crisis or other circumstances, the case is delayed or, even worse, is disrupted, the academy staff will finally lose faith in their command and in the leadership of the Armed Forces. With all the ensuing consequences in terms of the quality of work and further membership in the military education system. The Academy is unlikely to pass this test.
As the third key point, we highlight the need to ensure that the entire academy team patiently overcomes the current band of instability. This is possible only with an appropriate public attitude and exclusion of the dash of leadership in the search for alternative ways out of the situation. A healthy microclimate in a team is formed by respectful and careful attitude to each of the employees, a demonstration of real, if not as soon as we would like, progress towards the better. In this regard, the academy has work to do. At least over streamlining the system of incentive payments in the interests of supporting employees of all categories. As for shy, their potential danger is already seen, for example, in the options under discussion to solve the impending problem of locating upcoming sets of cadets of the academy by transferring their training to a branch in Serpukhov. Or in the proposal to reduce to an acceptable number of scientific units of existing composition, which could not be placed in Balashikha. For the academy, all these crafty adaptive searchlights are varieties of the road to nowhere, a path to non-existence.
The veterans of the academy fully share the opinion of the command of the Strategic Missile Forces and the leadership of the Ministry of Defense that preserving one of the country's leading military universities, ensuring its desired subsequent development can only be achieved through joint efforts of the military leadership and the university staff. They are not just interested and ready for such cooperation, but also implement it within their capabilities and intend to do this in the future. Forms of cooperation may be different. Somewhere support, direct participation in solving practical problems, but somewhere and criticism. Not a malicious one, but constructive and, most importantly, solely in the interests of the Academy’s speedy passing of the peak of the difficulties experienced with minimal losses. In this regard, the veterans of the Academy have no reason to change themselves.