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Marco Antonio Zago sworn in as new president

by Richard Meckien - published Jan 26, 2014 05:55 PM - - last modified Feb 14, 2014 03:58 PM

Geraldo Alckmin, Marco Antonio Zago e Vahan Agopyan
Governor Geraldo Alckmin, president
Marco Antonio Zago and deputy president Vahan Agopyan

Professor Marco Antonio Zago, from USP’s Faculty of Medicine of the Ribeirão Preto campus (FMRP), took over as new president of the university this Saturday, January 25, when the institution also celebrated its 80th anniversary and the city of São Paulo completed 460 years.

The Solemn Session of the University Council happened at 4 pm at the Bandeirantes Palace, seat of state government (read Zago's inauguration speech). During the event, the new deputy president, Professor Vahan Agopyan, from USP’s Polytechnic School (Poli), has also been inducted.

Read the address by José Goldemberg during the ceremony.

Read the salutation by Sérgio Adorno during the ceremony.


Zago is a physician and professor of clinical medicine at FMRP, where he has graduated and studied to become master and doctor. His postdoctoral program has been accomplished at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine of the University of Oxford. He was president of the National Council of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) from 2007 to 2010 and provost of research at USP during the administration of João Grandino Rodas (2010-2014).

Sergio Adorno — posse do reitor Marco Antonio Zago

Sergio Adorno, director of the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences, welcomed the new president on behalf of the University Council

José Goldemberg — posse do reitor Marco Antonio Zago
Former president José Goldemberg, of the Coordinating Committee of USP's 80th Anniversary Commemorations, during his speech

Civil engineer and mastership holder from Poli, Agopyan is a professor of materials and components for construction. He holds a PhD from King's College London. He was coordinator of Science, Technology and Innovation at the Department of Economic Development of the State of São Paulo, CEO of the Institute for Technological Research (IPT) and provost of graduate studies at USP, also during the administration of Rodas.

Todos pela USP (“All for USP”)

Candidates of a slate called “Todos pela USP”, Zago and Agopyan were appointed by state governor Geraldo Alckmin from a triple list defined in the election held on December 19, 2013. The slate had the highest number of votes (1,026) in the University Assembly, besides having been the most voted in the USP community consultation, which took place on December 10, when professors, staff and students were able to express their preference.

The winning slate has three priorities:

1) reform and enhancement of graduation, with flexible and modern curricula, teaching focused on the needs of society and combatting the high dropout rates that have reached 25%.

2) administrative reform, with decentralization of issues related to resource management and the academic activities, and strengthening of the various units of USP.

3) governance reform for greater democratization at USP.

The proposal of the slate also includes an emphasis on internationalization, national cooperation, interdisciplinarity and the reestablishment of internal dialogue. The aim is to recover the brainstorming characteristic that is common to an academic institution. In a message to USP's faculty during the election campaign, Zago and Agopyan have stressed the importance of the IEA-USP in promoting this kind of debate. According to them, it is necessary to take ahead the critical analysis of knowledge in order to take into account "the central problems of science, technology, economics, international relations and life in society, seeking to gather the best thinkers of the specific area, whether they are at USP or not, in Brazil or abroad, as done in ‘USP Conferences’. In this aspect, the IEA-USP will have a central role."

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