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Gyula Mitrovics, Professor of Pedagogy the Rector Magnificus of István Tisza University of Debrecen of the Academic Year 1940/41.
Published January 14, 2020

Professor of Pedagogy Gyula Mitrovics was Rector Magnificus of the Hungarian Royal István Tisza University of Debrecen in the academic year of 1940-1941. His profound interest in the arts and his Protestant identity
shaped by the oscillation between the Sárospatak versus Debrecen axis constituted the basis and the framework for an career which the child of a Sárospatak family of educators could fulfill in the Hungary of the first half of the 20th century. Despite the fact that the success of his early publications and the affirmative critical responses beckoned the young and upcoming teacher to a career in art history or to the calling of an aesthete, the interests of the arts faculty of the ”newly born” university of Debrecen dictated a different professional alternative. His attention turned to pedagogy, of which he became privat-docent in 1917, then full professor in 1918. Starting from this juncture, he led parallel professional lives rooted in aesthetics and pedagogy. In the year before his retirement he was elected rector of the university. His attitude in this supreme office was characterized by seeking compromises, which was a direct consequence of the priorities of the age in which he lived. It was during his rectorship that the university was to surrender its science departments. However, the diplomatically sensitive rector was able to attain the continuance of instruction in the disrupted departments by employing external lecturers. During his retirement as pensioner his life assumed a tragic turn: int he year 1949 – prompted by outside advice – he resigned his position as corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy then, in the middle of the 1950s he left Hungary. The one-time Debrecen professor of pedagogy spent his remaining years in Stuttgart and that is also where he died in 1965.

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