Were you attracted to the position of dean during your studies?
At the time of my studies, I couldn't even imagine what the role of the dean entailed. I saw the position as a faculty symbol, along with the ceremonial robe, the scepter, and the awarding of diplomas at graduations. Later, I discovered that this position obviously means a lot more and necessitates a lot more experience, managerial skills, and respect and reputation in academic circles. It would be bold to say that this position drew me in during my studies or at the start of my academic career. As I progressed through various positions as chairman of the senate, head of the department, vice-dean, spent time at foreign universities, and successfully completed the habilitation and professorship, I began to feel that I could contribute to the faculty and benefit it even as a dean.
Is there any funny memory associated with the SBA from the time of your studies?
I'd like to reiterate that after graduating, I lived in the Kosmos dormitories with my current wife, who was still a student at the faculty at the time. Each apartment had double and triple rooms, as well as a kitchenette, bathroom, and toilet. In many ways, living with four girls was amusing. When my friend and current colleague Assoc. Prof. Klepková Vodová once stayed overnight instead of me, in the morning, when the usual daily bustle and room visits have already taken place, one of the students exclaimed in amazement when he arrived in our room: "Oh my God, Mrs. Vodová, but Mr. Stavárek usually does sleep here."
Holding the position of dean is certainly very demanding, as it entails a lot of responsibilities. Do you bring your work home in popular terms?
I worked mostly from home, especially in the last few months, which were marked by the lockdown and the home office regime. But, even in normal times, things are usually the same. The dean's work is varied, and I keep things at home that require more concentration, thought, and time. In the faculty office, you can better manage all administrative activities, as well as meetings and negotiations, of which the dean has a lot.
How do you spend your days off when you don't have to work?
I enjoy them the most with my wife and two sons on a family trip, walk, or simply at home in the garden. If I were alone or with friends, I would go on trips to small breweries.
Run with the dean at the SBA is a popular pastime among students, staff, and members of the public. But do you do other sports besides jogging?
I just jog actively. I like jogging because it doesn't require any teammates or opponents, special equipment, or a playground. I can jog whenever and wherever I want, and regular jogging fits in nicely with all of my responsibilities. I enjoy football in other sports, but I no longer actively participate in it. My older son and I, on the other hand, are big fans of MFK Karviná, and we used to go to almost every home game before the covid. We are already looking forward to the next Premier League season, and we hope to see the game from the stands and show our support once more.
If you had to give students some valuable advice in life, what would it be?
Higher education alone is not extraordinary anymore, it does not ensure success automatically. You have to do something else if you want to succeed not only in your studies but also throughout your career. Studying offers several good opportunities. Study abroad, work with practice, take part in scientific work, organize community life in the faculty, and many other activities. All of these activities will broaden your horizons and expand more than standard study skills and experience. That would be my advice: Study fully and benefit from the opportunities offered by the university.
What do you enjoy the most about living in this region? Do you have any favorite spots here that you would like to share?
I do like the Moravian-Silesian region in general; it provides its residents with everything they need to live, including top culture and sports, beautiful nature, a plethora of well-known and lesser-known monuments, interesting places, and capable and fair residents. My family and I live in a village Václavovice and enjoy the surrounding landscape of the Silesian Gate micro region. Many interesting historic buildings, such as wooden churches, windmills, and log cabins, can be found in the member villages. I would also recommend paying a visit to Paskov's castle and adjacent castle park, which is where I grew up. I am very pleased that the entire castle complex has improved in recent years as a result of the municipality. I also can't forget Karviná, where I’ve spent a lot of time while studying and working at the SBA. My favorite spots are primarily Fryštát Square, which includes a castle and a beautiful park with an outdoor cinema, as well as a pleasant area with boats that seamlessly connects to the walk around the Olše River and the Darkov Spa Park.
This year, the Silesian University is celebrating a beautiful round anniversary - 30 years! What would you like to wish it on its birthday?
I wish the Silesian University as many students, employees, graduates, friends, and partners as possible who will enjoy, be proud of, and be eager to participate in other university activities and collaboration. As a result, its well-deserved reputation will spread even further.