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History of the Institute

 "Upati si je treba misliti." (prof. dr. Nace Šumi)
“One has to dare to think.” (Prof. Dr. Nace Šumi)


The research programme of the Faculty of Arts was established on March 8, 1979, under the name of the Scientific Institute. It was established with the purpose of coordinating scientific and research activities at the Faculty of Arts. 

In the spring of the same year, the research programme of the Faculty of Arts was first formulated, and was given the title of “Researching Cultural Creativity in Slovenia”. The programme formulated the programming goals of individual disciplines within a common context. The establishment of the programme is considered the beginning of the professional functioning of the institute. The programme, comprising basic research in the humanities (philosophy, history, archaeology, ethnology, linguistics, literature, musicology, art history, and geography) and the social sciences (education, sociology, and psychology) was established in broad terms. Its realisation was only made possible by engaging a range of external collaborators from other Slovenian institutions. At the time, many individuals did not have the chance to conduct research unless they were participating in one of the scientific and research organisation programmes. Owing to its design, the programme thus quickly acquired a broader social significance and was financed by the Research Community of Slovenia. 

In 1980, research was conducted under individual contracts and with the participation of 147 researchers from the fields of the humanities and social sciences. In 1981, the proposals for individual research projects were prepared according to the five-year plan (1981-1985), which were later joined by formal applications for the same following the allocation of funds. Research thus included nine research programmes in the fields of humanities, two in the social sciences, seven in the PORS 10 (a special research community for social activities), and four projects conducted under special contracts. In 1986, the 2000 Young Researchers Project began to be implemented and the Faculty of Arts acquired six new researcher posts. Quantitatively, the strongest period was that between 1986 and 1987, when the number of researchers exceeded 300. In 1987, the first exhibition of the publications and findings of scientific and research activity was organised; it ran annually until 2002. The bibliographic data contributed by the individual departments has grown from the initial 300 units to 2000 in the year 2002. In 1989, 55 young researchers were employed at the Faculty of Arts. The trend in recent years has been to bring together the researchers employed at our faculty with those whose research ties them to the content of funded research projects. A substantial portion of the funds is obtained through public grants from the Slovenian Research Agency. Organising scientific panels and symposiums is only one aspect of the multifaceted activity of the institute. Annual exhibitions of the publications and findings of the scientific and research work conducted at the Faculty of Arts have been held since 1983. 

Achieving the goals we have set for ourselves would not be possible without the valuable contribution of those individuals who represented the core management of the institute. Along with Dr. Nace Šumi, these individuals actively contributed to the success of the programme. They are Dr. Slavko Kremenšek, Dr. Frane Jerman, Dr. Breda Pogorelecand Dr. Dušan Nečak. Since its establishment in 1979 and through 1983, the institute has been led by Dr. Nace Šumi, who also assumed the office of the Dean for two mandate periods in the fall of the same year. During that period, the office of the president of the institute has been assumed by Dr. Frane Jerman. Dr. Nace Šumi led the institute again from 1987 until his retirement in 1996. His successor was Dr. Dušan Nečak, who was replaced in 2002 by Dr. Rudi Rizman. In 2008, Dr. Rajko Muršič was elected president of the ZIFF, but he resigned one year later. Dr. Vojko Gorjanc was named the acting president on November 10, 2009, and after the organisational reform of the institute he became its president in October 2011. In the initial period, Sonja Žitko was performing the duties of professional secretary. In early 1980, the position was assumed by Jadranka Bogataj, while assistance in financial matters was provided by Marija Djurović. In 1987, the position of financial officer was established and assumed by Darinka Blatnik and, in the fall of the same year, the position of administrative officer (only part-time in the beginning) was assumed by Lea Nardoni. Consequently, the institute had three full-time employees that year. Lea Nardoni, the administrative officer, was replaced by Marinka Šuštarin 1996. In early 2000, the duties and assignments of the faculty's assistant secretary for research, international cooperation, and public relations were assumed by Jadranka Šumi. In the same year, the institute established its International Office, in which Anja Golec assumed the professional duties related to student and faculty exchange.   The increased research activity of the Faculty of Arts and the increase in opportunities for funding outside of the national boundaries called for the establishment of the position of national and international research projects officer in 2005, which was assumed by Darja Sunesko. She was succeeded in 2008 by Martina Tekavec Bembič. In the same year, the institute gained a new employee in Barbara Dolenc, who took over part of the independent, reorganised assignments, along with information support for administrative and financial project management. Due to the demands for managing international education projects,Slobodanka Camilti, M.A., was employed at the International Office. After the retirement of Jadranka Šumi, the position of the head of professional service was assumed in December 2011 by Andrej Prosen. At the moment, the institute has five full-time employees. 

The Institute has also developed its own publishing activities, which have been active since 1980. Proceeding from modest beginnings, the activity quickly developed to the point of establishing the collection Razprave FF (i.e. Discussions FA) in 1985. Today, the collection encompasses 99 publications. Until her retirement in January 2011, the editorial duties in relation to the collection and publishing activities of ZIFF were performed by Jadranka Šumi.  Apart from publishing its own collection, the institute has also co-published and co-financed numerous other publications that were published at other publishing houses or as a part of the publishing activities of other cultural and scientific institutions. The institute has also provided co-financing for translations of publications by institute members that have been published abroad.  Dr. Slavko Kremenšek served as the president of the Commission for Press since its establishment and until 1996. The Scientific Research Institute represents the largest Slovenian scientific and research institution in the fields of the humanities and social sciences. As such, it is a regular partner in the organisation and presentation of results of the scientific and research work of its researchers. 

In March 1999, the Scientific Research Institute of the Faculty of Arts celebrated 20 years of existence. The occasion was marked by publication of the collection of papers entitled Raziskovanje kulturne ustvarjalnosti na Slovenskem (i.e. Researching Cultural Creativity in Slovenia), dedicated to the long-time president of the Institute, Dr. Nace Šumi. Upon the celebration of 30 years of the institute's existence, a special exhibition, as well as a brochure introducing the collection Razprave FF, were prepared. Upon its establishment, the institute temporarily shared its office with the Department of Psychology in the faculty building's basement. In 1982, the institute acquired new offices in the newly built superstructure (right section) of the faculty building. In 1989, it moved its offices into the left section of the superstructure. Through the 2005 reorganisation and the new spatial programmes for the Dean's Office, the institute acquired newly furnished offices in the same section. A more detailed history of the ZIFF (Source: Zbornik FF 1919-2009)