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13 January 2020 

prof. Ing. Miroslav Fikar, DrSc. 


Rector, Slovak University of Technology 
 
 
 
Re: Dismissal of Prof. Mária Bieliková from FIIT STU 
 
 
Dear Professor Fikar, 

As you are aware,, the newly elected dean of the School of Informatics and Information Techno- 
logies (FIIT STU), Professor Ivan Kotuliak, terminated without prior notice and with immediate effect 
the employment of the School’s former dean, Professor Mária Bieliková. He justified the dismissal 
with an anonymous whistleblower complaint about violations of regulations regarding scholarship 
payments to students, indicating that the accusations and pertaining documents had been legally 
analyzed by a law firm. 

The international editorial board members of ​User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction: The 
Journal of Personalization Research​ are very concerned about this abrupt and intransparent 
dismissal. Professor Bieliková enjoys a very high international reputation based on her and her 
group’s scientific research, community leadership, education of students, and commitment to 
supporting the career of junior researchers. She has greatly enhanced the international reputation of 
Informatics in FIIT STU. She has organized our community’s main international conference in 
Bratislava in 2017, and is a much appreciated member of the Editorial Board of our journal UMUAI 
and an effective director of our international professional organisation UM Inc. In our experience, 
Professor Bieliková has always been completely reliable, showing great diligence, and deeply caring 
about her staff, students, and her university. 

We are also concerned that Dean Kotuliak’s actions are seriously harming a fair voting process in 
the upcoming Senate elections at FIIT STU, since Professor Bieliková is one of the candidates and 
cannot be elected any longer by the academic community after her dismissal.   

We therefore urgently request that Professor Bieliková be immediately reinstated in her position as a 
full professor and that any actions against her be deferred until an authorized body of the university, 
specifically STU’s Chief Inspector's Office, has completed a thorough and transparent investigation of 
the accusations that have been leveled against her. The investigative process needs to be 
transparent, with public access to the proceedings and the results. 

 
 
 

Sincerely, 

The editorial board of 


User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction: 
The Journal of Personalization Research 
A Springer Nature Journal 

(Responses to Prof. Judith Masthoff ​j.f.m.masthoff@uu.nl​ and Prof. Alfred Kobsa ​kobsa@uci.edu​) 

Alfred Kobsa Peter Brusilovsky, Professor


Professor Emeritus School of Computing and Information Robin Burke, Professor, Chair
University of California, Irvine, U.S.A. University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A. Department of Information Science
University of Colorado, Boulder, U.S.A

Cristina Conati Tsvi Kuflik, Professor


Julita Vassileva, Professor Professor Department of Information Systems,
Computer Science Department University of British Columbia, Canada The University of Haifa, Israel
University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Tanja Mitrovic, Professor


Shlomo Berkovsky Marko Tkalčič, Associate Professor
College of Engineering Dean (PG)
Australian Institute for Health Innovation University of Primorska
University of Canterbury
Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia Koper, Slovenia
Christchurch, New Zealand

Bamshad Mobasher, Professor Professor David N. Chin Antonio Krüger, Professor


School of Computing Dept. of Information & Computer Sciences CEO & Scientific Director
DePaul University University of Hawaii German Research Center for AI
Chicago, U.S.A Honolulu, USA Saarbrücken, Germany

Professor Ingrid Zukerman Stephan Weibelzahl, Professor Prof Barry Smyth


Monash University PFH Private University of Applied Sciences University College Dublin
Victoria, Australia Göttingen, Germany Ireland
 
 

Geert-Jan Houben
Liliana Ardissono TU Delft
Dietmar Jannach Associate Professor the Netherlands
Professor University of Torino, Italy
University of Klagenfurt, Austria

Francesco Ricci
Professor, Dean Judith Masthoff, Professor Judy Kay, Professor
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy Utrecht University, the Netherlands University of Sydney, Australia
and University of Aberdeen, UK

Cristina Gena
Associate Professor Mathias Bauer Iván Cantador, Associate Professor
University of Torino, Italy CEO mineway & KIANA Systems Department of Computer Science
Saarbrücken, Germany Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Ryan S Baker Lora Aroyo


Associate Director Nava Tintarev
Google
University of Pennsylvania, USA Assistant Professor
New York, USA
TU Delft, the Netherlands

Diego Zapata-Rivera
UMUAI Editorial Board Member
Princeton, USA

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