Slide. “The Process Is Dead”: In Sciences Po, Director’s Choice Turns Into Psychodrama

“Wait, I just got the Siècle directory, we’ll see it very soon.” Our interlocutor is a ponte of Science Poe, one of the “big voters” of the future establishment’s director, who must be appointed by November 20. He wonders about Matthias Vicheret’s presence among the final eight candidates, an Enerc – a promotion similar to Emmanuel Macron – who currently serves as Danone Group’s general secretary. The most advanced “scientists” made him one of the favorites to succeed Frédéric Mione, who resigned on 9 February 2021, after a ministerial report revealed that he had run for le-d’s Prefect Marc Guillaume. The matter of Duhamel’s affair was hidden. -France region. After questioning his membership in one of the great bodies of state – “Oh, he’s really from the prefectural?” -, our “Great Voter” asks us if Bizarre is part of the Century, a club that brings together the cream of the political, economic and cultural Parisian elite. Olivier Duhamel was its president, until his confession of incest against his son-in-law prompted him to resign from the organization and the National Foundation for Political Science (FNSP), the organization that oversees Sciences Po. Before resigning himself, Marc Guillaume was Vice President of Century and a member of the board of directors of the FNSP.

Our interlocutor then remembers that he himself is a member of SEACL and has, as every year, received a comprehensive directory of its members. Here’s what he’s looking for information: “T, U, V … Wicked! Danone, former deputy general manager of SNCF … Paris City Hall … It’s him! He’s in the century. Well, it always is.” In between, what”.

Reducing Mathias Vicarat’s course to his membership in a club in Paris may have given the person concerned a jump. Especially since he is not known to be close to Mion, Duhamel or Guillaume. The reflection of our “Great Voter” reflects the environment in which the election is being prepared. Professional distortion forces, school senior leaders don’t stop creating scenarios and… try to locate the network of candidates. Life-size practical work in the school of electrical science. To the best of our knowledge, the project under consideration is highly appreciated by some of the members of the proposal committee responsible for determining a “short list” of the three or four most serious candidates. In his ten-page letter, the former senior official stressed on the importance of fundraising, continuing training, hailing the reforms of competitive examinations and thus proposing compulsory adherence to linked education.

Recruitment of sixty teachers

In addition to the former leader of the SNCF, two other favorites of the election are called Christine Muselin and Benedict Durand. The first, born in 1958, appears as the unofficial candidate of the “permanent faculty”, the teaching staff, or its representatives in the authorities. Little is known outside the universe of Rue Saint-Guillaume, this research director in sociology at CNRS, but she knows the inner secrets perfectly: she was the establishment’s scientific director between 2013 and 2018. He also directed the Center for Sociology of Organizations. Between 2007 and 2013 the Science PO, a laboratory consisting of Jean Lazarus, co-chair of the proposals committee, and Simon Cordonier, one of its members. In her project, she specifically requests a reduction in the proportion of undergraduate students, equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, to recruit sixty professors, to increase the number of masters. Many influential teachers are actively campaigning for him and according to our sources, researchers have already met with many “big voters” to convince them. Evidence of a certain optimism about your appearance on the final list. ‘Surprisingly, though, it remains quite pessimistic about the end result,’ observes someone close to the management board.

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Benedict Durand has the advantage of currently occupying the position of interim director, second only to Frédéric Mione. An experience that gives credence to its qualifications for the “final stage”, namely the “Parliament” hearing of Science Poe and a vote, on the one hand, the Council of the Institute, consisting of thirty-two members including nine teachers and nine students (including doctoral students). ), on the other hand, the FNSP, which has the distinction of ruling by a two-thirds majority. If two councils do not agree on the same name, new hearings and votes are held. And if disagreements persist, the whole process will have to be started all over again.

“They Want To Free Him”

In its application plan, the provisional administrator emphasizes the development of continuing education and doubling the number of students admitted to apprenticeships. Only, in these last days, a shiver runs through the Durand camp. “It is said more and more that Benedict can be taken off the list before Salah. They want to release him at all costs!”, quivers one of his supporters. “They” are teachers of the permanent faculty represented in the bodies. In addition to campaigning for Christine Muselin, many people dream of dusting off the current administrator, a set of history they pale for not giving enough support, lacking in stature and, at times, being too close to right. Reprimand Mel – she was Valerie Pecracy’s advisor. However, some observers analyze that if Benedict Durand passes the “shortlist” course, he has a chance of winning on the institute’s board, where he benefits from various endorsements, notably the many staff representatives. From. Hence the option to dismiss it before the votes on 9 and 10 November.

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In addition, this Tuesday, October 12, the voting rules for the election of the director were changed, despite the greatest reluctance of the Department of Legal Affairs. Whereas so far all votes in the Council of the Institute have been cast by a simple majority – the first wins – the new procedure provides a qualification system for the second round on the model of the French presidential election. . The first two face each other in a duel. An option that theoretically makes it possible to measure candidates with similar profiles in the first round before moving on to the second round. Only a representative of the student union NOVA refused to vote for this amendment.

Metzger, The Black Baron

One school leader remarked, “The rules changed during the competition… the process is over.” For the contest to be invalid, a dissatisfied candidate must first file an appeal. In the corridors, everyone has the same name on their mind: Nicolas Metzger, the former chairman of the institute’s board, is dismissed from the first skimming. Former Senate administrator, this entrepreneur rarely misses an opportunity to brag against the school’s entre-soie. “He’s a totally obsessive, dangerous frontier,” sighed a senior manager of the establishment. An indestructible posture that earned him many enmities, but also led to the endorsement that many sources refer to him as the “Black Baron” of the IEP. When contacted, he does not tell us whether he intends to start the contest, but gives us this answer: “We must pass all the rule of science Po to Karcher”.

Still among the contenders, the president of the ENS-Paris Saclay, Pierre-Paul Zalio, and the current director general of school education, State Councilor Edouard Gaffre, who has no experience in higher education, are considered outsiders. Will they be part of the famous “short list” to be announced on Wednesday, October 20? A former leader of the establishment, well introduced in the mystique, laughs: “It will be played by the media! If the press auditions on three candidates, it will be four, and if they say four, it will be three.” The commission wants to teach a lesson to the bad press.” On September 23, this already complex picture turned into irrationality and psycho-drama. That day, minutes after the proposal committee meeting began, its members found on their mobile phones that News Tank, a site specializing in the world of education, had just published the names and projects of twenty-three candidates. While the process should be kept strictly confidential.

“We have decided to file a complaint”

“We have decided to file a criminal complaint and of course to deepen the investigation to identify the origin of this disclosure”, said two co-chairs of the resolution committee, Lawrence Bertrand Dorlek and Jean Lazarus, chairman of the FNSP. written. A letter to the candidates on 29 September. To the best of our knowledge, the Commission’s student representative was questioned and questioned by Science Po’s Information Systems Department, which claimed to have contacted the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (Anssi), which ensures computer security. was in charge. matters of defense and national security, and with a cyber security company. Then IT services realized that it had nothing to do with it. Failing to identify “mole” or “moles”, the commission now defends the thesis of hacking from outside. A source revealed: “They don’t want to consider leaks so much that they develop an entire hacking scenario. This is crazy!”.

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“Principles Question”

Another rebound shook Landerno: to everyone’s surprise, Anne-Sophie Barthez, the director general of higher education, the ministry’s number one official and former president of the Paris-Seine university community, was promptly sacked. Yet it was one of the favorites of “scientists”. A source familiar with the matter said: “It was a question of principle raised by the professors. Anne-Sophie Barthez was the ministry’s representative on the FNSP’s board of directors. She cannot be a candidate at the same time in the direction of Science Po”. This rule is not in any text, moreover the representative of the ministry has no voice in the FNSP, he just has the right to participate in the debate. Above all, this situation smiles at those who remember that at the beginning of spring, Lawrence Bertrand Dorlech was part of the jury that rejected Nona Meyer’s candidacy for president of the FNSP six days before she herself became the candidate. Had given.

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Knowing that having a good record isn’t enough to win, even the most determined candidates hire advocates for their cause. And not just anyone. Benedict Durand such as Mathias Vicheret each took pride in the services of another former UNEF elected member to the Council of the Institute and the FNSP on their behalf. It is up to them to preach the good word to the right people. Life size practical work, we tell you.


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David Beverez is an investor based in Hong Kong since 2011.  he is the author of "China-Europe: The Big Turn" (Le Passeur Editor, 2021).by David Bevarez

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christoph doner

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"It is much more for companies than universities to train youth in the routine of the trades that require them.", believes Sylvain Sylvain Forte


Anne Rosenchar L'Express .  is the managing editor ofAnne Rosencher

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