Slovak University of Agriculture - Establishment and Development
1941 - 1952
The beginnings of higher agricultural education in Slovakia is closely linked with the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava, where the Department of Forestry and Agricultural Engineering was established and lectures started in the academic year 1941/1942. In 1946, the Slovak National Council established a separate University of Agricultural and Forest Engineering (UAFE) in Košice from the Department of Forestry and Agricultural Engineering of the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava.
An important milestone in the history of the Slovak Higher Agricultural Education was the year 1952, when the reorganization of the university cancelled UAFE in Košice and its faculties created two separate universities – the University of Agriculture in Nitra and the University of Forestry and Wood Technology in Zvolen.
1952 - up to now
At the beginning, the University of Agriculture in Nitra had two faculties – the Faculty of Agronomy and the Faculty of Animal Husbandry. The third faculty, (of veterinary medicine), remained in Košice and in 1969 it became a separate Veterinary University based in Košice. In 1959, the Faculty of Animal Husbandry joined the Faculty of Agronomy and a new Operation and Economics Faculty was established. The Faculty of Agricultural Engineering was established in 1969 and the Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering in 1995. In 1996, the Act of the National Council of the Slovak Republic No. 324/1996 Coll. renamed the University of Agriculture to the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. In 2003, two separate faculties were created by the division of the Faculty of Agronomy. It was the Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources, and the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Sciences. The youngest one is the Faculty of European Studies and Regional Development, which was established in 2004. In 2008, the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering was renamed to the Faculty of Engineering.
The university complex of SUA was built in the period of 1961 – 1966 by architects Vladimír Dedeček and Rudolf Miňovský and it belongs to unique works of European architecture. Nine objects of the SUA campus were declared national cultural monuments by the Monument Institute of the SR.
The Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra with its educational, scientific and research activities represent the significant part of a European and world educational area. It has become a modern open university which reflects current needs in agri-food sector in a local and global scale. Its mission is to prepare competitive specialists for all areas of agri-food sector as well as other fields of national economy – engineering, finance, institutions and bodies of state administrations and others. It has six faculties providing wide range of knowledge in the field of natural, economic, technical and social sciences in 90 study programmes, 12 of them taught in English language. SUA students have the opportunity to spend a part of their studies abroad through international programmes – Erasmus+, CEEPUS, National Scholarship Programme, bilateral cooperation projects and other programmes.
In 2010, the SUA in Nitra as the first university in Slovakia received a prestigious ECTS Label awarded by the European Commission for ensuring the implementation of the European Credit Transfer System and the mobility of students. It defended this title again in 2013. At the same time, it added to its awards another one – Diploma Supplement Label which certifies that the Diploma Supplement issued by the SUA meets the demanding European standards. Both titles were awarded until 2016. In 2015, the Accreditation Commission included the SUA in Nitra to the seven best ranked universities in Slovakia.
In 2015, a unique AgroBioTech Research Centre focusing on applied research in the field of agrobiology, biotechnology and technology in agriculture, food and bioenergy was opened. The Centre is equipped with the research infrastructure allowing research activities at international level.
The quality of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra is confirmed by the results of pedagogical and research activities and achievements in the field of international cooperation, but especially by 90 thousand of graduates who have left the gates of their alma mater.
Gallery of the Rectors
prof. Ing. BOHUMIL DUŠEK
Rector of the VŠPLI | 1952 –1956
Bohumil Dušek was born on 23 March 1902 in Dobrá Voda, the Czech Republic. He studied agriculture at the University of Agriculture in Prague, from which he graduated in 1924. He devoted himself to zootechnics, especially to dairy production. No wonder he started to work as a researcher at the State Agricultural Research Station in Zvolen (1924–45). In academic year 1944/45 he began to give lectures at the agricultural institute of the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. After the University of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering was opened in Košice, he was appointed its professor and also Head of the Institute of Dairy and Cheese Production at the Branch of Agricultural Engineering. Furthermore, he headed the Department of Dairy Production at the University of Agriculture in Nitra until retiring in 1973. Professor Dušek gained recognition for further development of agricultural disciplines in Slovakia but mainly for preparing the building and selecting the site for the new campus of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. He was in the office of Rector (1952–56) and Vice-Rector (1956–60) of the University of Agriculture in Nitra and Vice-Rector of the University of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering in Košice (1950–52). He died on 6 July 1981 in Nitra.
prof. Dr. Ing. GREGOR CHOMKOVIČ
Rector of the VŠP | 1956 –1958
Gregor Chomkovič came from Poland where he was born on 19 April 1891 in Przegonina. He began his studies in Vienna and completed them at the University of Agriculture in Brno in 1922. He started to work as a researcher at the Moravian Zootechnical Research Institute in Brno (1922–27). From 1927 to 1933 he worked at the Agrarian Council in Bratislava, and from 1933 to 1940 he headed the regional office of the Agrarian Chamber in Nové Mesto nad Váhom. In 1940 he started to work as a university teacher at the Slovak Technical University, at the Branch of Forestry and Agricultural Engineering, and from 1941/42 at the Institute of Agricultural Engineering. On 13 July 1943, he was appointed there Extraordinary Professor of Zootechnics. After establishment of the independent University of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering in Košice in 1946, he continued working as the university teacher for Zootechnics and headed the Institute of Special Zootechnics. In academic years 1948/49–1949/50 he was appointed Rector of the University of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering in Košice, and in 1950/51 he held the office of Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of this university. After singling out the agricultural studies and founding the University of Agriculture in Nitra, he went to Nitra and became Head of the Department of General Zootechnics until 1962. From 1956 to 1958 he again became Rector of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. Professor Chomkovič was a distinguished pioneer of zootechnical disciplines in Slovakia as well as Member of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. He died on 11 October 1968 in Trenčín.
Dr.h.c. akademik EMIL ŠPALDON
Rector of the VŠP | 1958 –1966
Emil Špaldon was born on 12 May 1918 in Čadca. He started his studies at the Czech Technical University in Prague, continued in Zagreb and graduated from the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava in 1941. He was Director of the Association of Pepper Growers in Bratislava from 1941 to 1944. From 1944 to 1951 he headed the research department of Nitra Mills. In 1947 he was promoted to professors and started to head the Department of Crop Production at the University of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering in Košice. From 1952 to 1958 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Agronomy and from 1958 to 1966 as Rector of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. In years 1966–70 he was Research Secretary of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. In 1970 he leaves for a working visit in the United States of America. In 1965 he obtained his DrSc., in 1968 became a member of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and in 1977 Academician of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. In 1979 he was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Agriculture in Gödöllő and in 1993 at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bucharest. From 1965 to 1968 he held the office of Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the International Centre for the Coordination of Research in Agriculture (CICRA) based in Rome and after 1968 became a member of the Executive Committee. In 1980 he became a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Academician Špaldon is a distinguished representative of the biological concept of crop production and a creator of Slovak agricultural science and academic studies. He devoted himself to agro-ecological principles of farming practices of high yields of cereals by which he significantly influenced the agricultural practice in Slovakia.onal Consortium in Kiev.
prof. Ing. JÁN TOMOVČÍK, CSc.
Rector of the VŠP | 1966 –1970
Ján Tomovčík was born on 25 October 1926 in Iňačovce. After having graduated from the University of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering in Košice (1950), he started to work at the Machinery and Tractor Station in Trebišov (1950–51) and subsequently at the Regional National Committee in Košice until 1952. In the same year, he became employed with the University of Agriculture in Nitra and served there until the period of political cleansing in 1970. In years 1956–70 he served as Head of the Department of Mechanisation of Plant Production and in years 1966/67–1969/70 as Rector of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. In 1970 he started to work as a researcher at the Research Institute of Agricultural Machinery in Rovinka. Professor Tomovčík was awarded the degree of Candidate of Sciences and became a senior lecturer in 1962 and was appointed an extraordinary professor in 1966. His field is associated with research issues related to the mechanisation of agricultural production.
Dr.h.c. prof. Ing. JOZEF KLIMENT, DrSc.
Rector of the VŠP | 1970–1980
Jozef Kliment was born on 3 July 1928 in Čierny Balog. He graduated from the University of Agricultural and Forestry Engineering in Košice in 1952. From 1952 to 1961 he worked at the Commission of Agriculture – Administration of State Breeding Stations, and from 1960 to 1961 he headed the Department of Animal Production of the Slovak National Council in Bratislava. From 1961 he lectured at the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. In 1962 he was appointed a sen-
ior lecturer, in 1970 was promoted to professorship, and in 1976 obtained his DrSc. From 1967 to 1978 and from 1980 to 1985, he headed the Department of Genetics and Breeding Biology. In academic years 1963/64–1965/66 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Agronomy and in years 1970/71–1979/80 as Rector of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. In 1978 he was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa at Martin Luther University in Halle. Professor Kliment gained recognition for further development of zootechnical disciplines in Slovakia and for the development of cattle breeding and improvement, particularly for introducing a dairy breed into the programme of cattle improvement in Slovakia, by which milk production increased significantly. He died on 30 June 2007 in Nitra.
prof. Ing. MICHAL KOVÁČ, DrSc.
Rector of the VŠP | 1980 –1990
Michal Kováč was born on 1 April 1936 in Hradište, District of Lučenec. He graduated from the University of Agriculture in Nitra in 1960. All his life until his death, he gave lectures at this University, at the beginning as a lecturer in order to go through the whole process of scientific and pedagogical formation. In 1966 he was awarded the degree of Candidate of Sciences, in 1970 became a senior lecturer, in 1977 obtained his DrSc., in 1979 was promoted to professorship, and in 1984 became Member of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. In academic years 1970/71–1979/80 he served as Vice-Rector and in years 1980/81–1989/90 as Rector of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. As regards scientific and research activities, Professor Kováč devoted all his professional life to the nutrition and feeding of farm animals, especially of poultry in intensive large-scale production units. His research contributed to the development of poultry farming in Czechoslovakia. He died on 6 January 1996 in Nitra.
prof. Ing. LADISLAV KABÁT, CSc.
Rector of the VŠP | 1990 –1996
Ladislav Kabát comes from Kozárovce where he was born on 13 October 1943. He graduated from the University of Economics in Bratislava (Economic and Mathematical Calculations). In 1971 he started to work at the University of Agriculture in Nitra – first as a programmer, then as a lecturer, senior lecturer, professor and Head of the Department of Statistics of the Faculty of Economics and Management. In January 1990, he was appointed Rector of the University of Agriculture in Nitra and remained in this office until 1996. In 1977 he obtained his CSc. at the Institute of National Economy in Moscow. In his research work, he has concentrated especially on numerical issues and solvability of optimisation models of large dimensions, applying exact model techniques to the nutrition and feeding of farm animals, and computer-aided instruction. In 1986 he became a visiting professor at the University of Legon in Accra. In 1988, after winning a prestigious fellowship of the Fulbright Foundation, he became a visiting professor at the University of Delaware, Newark. He is a member of several international associations. He has coordinated the TEMPUS programme and has been involved in the Cost programme. Professor Kabát has participated in research projects organised by the World Bank, OECD, and FAO. From 1996 to 2001 he served at the Headquarters of the FAO in Rome as Director of the Statistical Division. In 2001 he became Dean of the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of Comenius University in Bratislava. Currently, he serves as Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the Pan-European University in Bratislava.
doc. Ing. MIROSLAV ZIMA, CSc.
Rector of the SUA | 1996 –1999
Miroslav Zima was born on 11 May 1945 in Bukovec. He graduated from the University of Agriculture in Nitra in 1968. Since then, he worked as an educator at the Department of Plant Physiology of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. His scientific specialisation was the ecology of photosynthesis and plant stress physiology. He was a supervisor and chief organiser of four international conferences on plant stress. He became Merited Member of the Slovak Botanical Society and a member of the International Society of Plant Physiologists. From 1984 to 1990 he was a member of the Management and from 1996 to 1998 President of the European Society for Agronomy (ESA). In 1998 he was a chief organiser of the Fifth Congress of the ESA, in 2000 a member of the Organisation Committee of the Third World Congress of Crop Production in Hamburg. He was a founder member of the Czechoslovak Academy of Agricultural Sciences, from 1991 a member of the Slovak Academy of Agricultural Sciences, where he served as Vice-President in years 1997–2000 and as President from 2000. As Rector, he became a member of the Management of the Alliance of Universities for Democracy (AUDEM) in years 1996–2000. From 1980 to 1985 he was Deputy Director of UNESCO courses for teachers and scientists of developing countries and from 1985 to 1990 Director of UNESCO courses at the University of Agriculture in Nitra. In the position of Rector, he gained recognition for developing the University, its renaming to the Slovak University of Agriculture, and for developing the university system of education and science. He died on 26 June 2006 in Nitra.
prof. Dr. Ing. IMRICH OKENKA, PhD.
Rector of the SUA | 1999 –2006
Imrich Okenka was born on 19 March 1944 in Hurbanovo. He graduated in 1966 from the Czech Technical University in Prague, with specialising in computers. After having completed the postgraduate study at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest in 1979, he earned the doctorate at the Debrecen University of Agriculture in 1980 and was appointed Senior Lecturer for Sector and Branch Economics in 1983. From 1988 to 1993 he served as Director of the Institute of Computer Technology, in years 1991–92 as Head of the Department of Computer Technology and Programming at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Agriculture in Nitra, in years 1993–94 as Head of the Department of Informatics, and in years 1994–99 as Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management of the SUA in Nitra. He has been involved in the building of departments of informatics, the Institute of Computer Technology of the SUA in Nitra and the Computer Centre of the Faculty of Economics and Management of the SUA in Nitra. As a chief researcher and co-researcher, he has participated in the research of numerous research issues and grant assignments of VEGA and KEGA projects. He is a member of scientific committees in domestic and foreign institutions, as well as a holder of the Order of Ľudovít Štúr of the Second Class and a holder of the Great Medal of St Gorazd, etc. After leaving the University in 2006, he became Director of Agroinštitút Nitra. At the present time, he serves as Vice-Rector of J. Selye University in Komárno.
Dr.h.c. prof. Ing. MIKULÁŠ LÁTEČKA, CSc.
Rector of the SUA | 2006 –2010
Mikuláš Látečka was born on 13 November 1943 in Nitra. He graduated from the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. In 1977 he received his scientific qualification Candidate of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences, in 1992 he was appointed Senior Lecturer for the discipline of Agricultural Melioration and in 2000 Professor for the discipline of Landscape Engineering. From 1969 he worked at the Department of Agricultural Melioration of the Faculty of Agronomy (University of Agriculture in Nitra). Later on, he headed the Department of Landscape Planning and Ground Design of the Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering. From 2001 to 2006 he served as Dean of the Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. His scientific research work has focused especially on irrigation. Also, he devoted himself to the revitalisation of water courses and settlement of land ownership. In 2009 he was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by Mendel University in Brno. Professor Látečka held the position of Rector from 2006 to 2010.
Dr.h.c. prof. Ing. PETER BIELIK, PhD.
Rector of the SUA | 2010 – 2018
Peter Bielik was born on 29 November 1952 in Nitra. From 1972 to 1977 he studied at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Agriculture in Nitra. After having completed the postgraduate study, he started to work at the Department of Economics; he headed this department from 1994 to 1997. He was in the position of Vice-Dean and Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management. Beginning with academic year 2010/11, he has been Rector of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. In 2001 he was awarded a Bronze Medal by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic and in 2002 a Gold Medal by the University of Economics in Bratislava. In 2007 the honorary degree of Doctor Honoris Causa was conferred upon him by Gödöllő Szent István University. In 2009 he was conferred the degree of Professor Honoris Causa at the Delhi School of Professional Studies and Research in India. In 2010 Professor Bielik was awarded the Great Medal of St Gorazd and the Gold Medal of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Slovak Republic. He is Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Acta Economica et Informatica and a member of editorial boards of foreign scientific journals in India, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Croatia. In 2012 he was awarded the honorary doctorate by the Hugo Kołłątaj University of Agriculture in Krakow. Beginning with 2009, he has been Director of the international MBA study “Agribusiness and Commerce” at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra. In 2016, he was awarded the degree of Professor Honoris Causa by the Belgorod State Agrarian University (Russian Federation) and, in 2017, he received the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa - honorary degree in sciences - from the All-Ukrainian Scientific-Educational Consortium in Kiev.
Doc. Ing. KLAUDIA HALÁSZOVÁ, PhD.
Rector of the SUA | 2018 – up to now
She was born on December 15, 1973 in Partizánske. In 1997, she completed her master studies in Phytotechnics at the Faculty of Agronomy of the SUA (study specialisation-Protection and Creation of the Environment). In 1997-2002 she completed her doctoral studies at the Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering of the SUA in the study programme Landscape Engineering. She worked as an assistant professor at the Department of Sustainable Development and later at the Department of Land Planning and Land Consolidation. In 2014 she was awarded the scientific and pedagogical degree of associate professor in the field of Landscape Engineering. In the period 2004-2012 she performed the function of Vice-Dean for study of the Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering and in 2012-2018 she was the Dean of the faculty. Her scientific research work focuses on the assessment of environmental impacts, environmental aspects and impacts, waste management and the issue of environmental burdens. She works in commissions, scientific councils of the university and faculties and other professional councils. She is a member of the Scientific Council of the Research Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics and the Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, she is a member of the Partnership Council of the Regional Integrated Territorial Strategy of the Nitra region, a member of the certification board — ASTRAIA Nitra certification body. She also works in the Regional Development Planning Commission of the Nitra Self-governing region.