Solidarity message with the Central European University academic community
Dear CEU Colleagues, Students, and Alumni,
We, the undersigned, members, students, and former students of the Faculty of Political Sciences at the National University for Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA, Romania) are writing to express our support for CEU during these turbulent times. The news of the planned political attack on CEU is deeply disturbing and shocking. Many of us (faculty, students, and former students) have greatly benefited, in various ways, from CEU's generous support. Some of our faculty are CEU alumni (Sociology, Political Sciences, Nationalism Studies), while others have attended various conferences at and/or have been involved in academic exchanges with CEU. Having an institution like CEU in this part of the world has made a difference for the intellectual and professional careers of generations of students since the early 1990s. During that time, most universities in our countries were in disarray and lacked infrastructural and human resources to adequately prepare their students. We remember all too well that, in the mid-to-late 1990s, for many students in the region, CEU represented the main (and possibly only) opportunity to become acquainted with Western standards of research and teaching.
Over the years, CEU has continued to grow and its excellence in teaching and research has received international praise and attention. As social scientists, we knew that, in theory, change is not irreversible. Yet, we all hoped that dramatic derails from the path to a free, democratic society would not happen again. Our hopes seem to have been shattered by the recent attacks on CEU, which are the expression of authoritarian, illiberal thinking. We, in Romania, have also dealt with political attempts to control higher education institutions. Luckily for us, thus far, such attempts have been made with a velvet glove (i.e., preferential allocation of resources, employing particularistic and not meritocratic criteria for hiring, increasing repeatedly and irrationally the standards for promotion in the absence of adequate funding for teaching and research, low entry wages etc.). It is clear to us that the Hungarian authorities are now using the iron fist against CEU.
We cannot be more forceful in saying that such an attack is utterly absurd and inconceivable in a free, democratic society. We would have loved to have a university like CEU in Romania. Yet, some political forces in Hungary seem to be completely ignorant of the importance of CEU for both Hungary and the region. Furthermore, any attack on academic freedom should be drastically denounced and condemned by fellow academics and ordinary people alike.
In closing, we reiterate our support for and solidarity with CEU, and we hope that, in the end, you will weather this temporary storm. If there is anything we could do to assist you in this matter, please, let us know.
Catalin Augustin Stoica (Associate Professor, MA in Society and Politics - CEU 1997)
Aurelian Muntean (Assistant Professor, MA in Political Science - CEU 2001)
Cristian Pirvulescu (Associate Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Political Science)
Monica Stroe (Assistant Professor, MA in Nationalism Studies - CEU 2008)
Bogdan Iancu (Assistant Professor)
Arpad Todor (Assistant Professor, MA in Political Science - CEU 2006)
Mihaela Miroiu (Professor, OSF Fellow)
Adrian Miroiu (Professor, OSF Fellow)
Claudiu Craciun (Assistant Professor)
Radu Umbres (Assistant Professor)
Adrian Pop (Professor, CEU alumnus)
Brindusa Palade (Associate Professor, OSI alumna)
Andrei Mihail Tudor (Teaching Assistant)
Andrada Nimu (Teaching Assistant)
Liliana Popescu (Associate Professor, CEU alumna)
Oana Baluta (Associate Professor University of Bucharest and FSP-SNSPA)
Andrei Taranu (Associate Professor)
Liviu Rotman (Professor)
Gabriel Andreescu (Professor)
Ileana Gabriela Szasz (SNSPA alumna)
Nic Dobrei (Assistant Professor)
Vintila Mihailescu (Professor)
Razvan Papasima (SNSPA alumnus)
(The list remains open.)