The Department of Research and Universities of the Generalitat de Catalunya has appointed Alexander Golovin, a student without a university degree and former director of programs at the Institut Ostrom, a liberal think tank and promoter of a campaign in favor of the “professionalization of the administration”. Golovin will receive a salary of 57,983.60 euros gross per year, according to the salary tables of the Generalitat updated to 2021.
Golovin himself has explained that his role will consist of writing the councilor’s speeches and “helping in the story of the department.” The Official Gazette of the Generalitat (DOGC) adds to these tasks the support to the councilor in the “strategic policies of the department” and the advice “on trends and economic factors that allow to prefigure future scenarios”, as well as make “impact analysis “of the initiatives of the Ministry.
The new advisor, born in 1999, does not have a university degree. He started International Relations at the Ramon Llull University but left it, and is currently studying Hebrew Studies at the University of Barcelona (UB). Golovin has added that his intention is to enroll in the third year, although he has admitted that he is “a little late”. Both Golovin and the Ministry have confirmed that among the requirements to apply for the position, a university degree is not claimed, nor a certain number of scientific publications or academic works, nor work experience.
From the conselleria they have ensured that Golovin was the best candidate out of five people who applied for the position, and they have defended that neither the title nor the work experience in the university environment were “essential” for this position. Despite being a position of trust, Universities decided to carry out a selection process to which five applicants applied and which consisted of developing a project related to university policies, a speech and an interview.
“We were looking for a person who could control strategic projects, information and data management, policy analysis. He is a person with deep knowledge of politics,” sources from the Ministry have indicated. The department has recalled that Golovin is a member of the Political, Legal and Social Studies section of the Ateneu Barcelonès, of the think tank liberal Ostrom Institute and has been several political analyst in mass media.
The Institut Ostrom, of which Golovin has been director of programs until his incorporation to the Ministry, promoted the manifesto ‘For a professional public address “, in which it considered” imperative “a profound change in public administration that would involve the abandonment of” guidelines of trust and discretion “and the incorporation of the principles of transparency, publicity, competence, concurrence and aptitude in the appointment of management personnel.” The submission of continuity in the exercise must be based on the evaluation of results and not on the electoral cycle “, declared the manifesto.
The Institut Ostrom has also publicly positioned itself against the reduction of university fees, a policy recently carried out by Universities, and the Catalan law regulating the price of rents and has been in favor of a generalized reduction in taxes. Despite being based in Catalonia, last August the institute explained that it has collaborated with the government of the Community of Madrid, led by Isabel Díaz-Ayuso (PP), in its tax proposal.