CEU rectors report2 by 7Q3dg431

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10 March 2000

Rector’s Report No. 2

CEU has reached the age of ten. Its birth practically coincided with the collapse of the
communist, Soviet-dominated world. Its mission, as conceived then, was to help the opening up
of this region to democracy and to open society. Thus many of the newly established
Departments and Programs saw their central role in teaching and promoting the mission of the
University, primarily in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and also in the other further
lying post-communist countries. Other Departments preferred to understand their mission in the
region to be that of becoming the best possible disciplinary followers of Western Universities.
Some units succeeded in finding a genuinly scholarly answer to being both of high quality and of
regional relevance.

Accordingly, CEU fulfilled its mission by training MA graduates from the region who were
eligible for further study at the best Western Universities.

Ten years later the picture is somewhat different. Without claiming that the original task has
been accomplished - there is much more to do for quite some time yet - it is increasingly clear
that what is most needed is the development of new socio-political experiments as well as
support for the creation of new knowledge which would supply intellectual tools for coping
with the problems of this region, and for other developing democracies in the world. These
socio-political experiments, just as the need for emerging theories diverging somewhat from the
universal theories of the West, which indeed until a few decades ago, constituted an unparalleled
success-story, are necessary in order to skip some of the mistakes that the West has committed,
and to find solutions to processes like globalization. Globalization worldwide poses different
problems for previously totalitarian regimes, and for poor countries, than for Western
democracies. Such are the differences in the shifting boundaries between private and public, or
between local and universal. This means that Universities and CEU first and foremost, in order
to have impact on the region and on other developing democracies, have to become excellent and
innovative in their scholarly activities. We cannot afford to have CEU Departments merely
copying existing Western methodologies, while training activists and ideologues. Thus the task
of the University Administration is first of all to exercise quality control (without breaking
contracts), replacing the less suitable faculty with carefully selected and very good new faculty,
and to seek to introduce disciplinary areas which are not yet present at CEU.

Another necessary change: it is important to recruit younger scholars from the region, or at least
such that wish to spend a good part of their career in the region. The rather provincial attitude,
according to which one had to transplant acceptably good senior scholars from the U.S. or
Western Europe to Budapest, in order to secure some academic excellence, was never true, but
today it is patently false.

In the range of possibilities, those areas which would contribute most to the creation of
knowledge of the kind as pointed out above have to be pinpointed, and to the extent that they are
not represented in the University, to bring them in. This means not necessarily new Departments,
but rather new interdisciplinary programs around problem areas, to be established for a limited
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number of years. Faculty joining CEU will be appointed in the existing Departments; they must
be deeply rooted in at least one discipline, yet ready for intellectual cooperation and redefinition
of problem-areas, in an interdisciplinary mode.

An intellectual milieu has to be established at the University in which the Departments and
Programs strongly interact, where scholarship is not considered the opposite of being
problem-oriented, where the best students are recruited in order to learn rigor, method, regional
problems, and also write their Masters’ theses as a publishable part of their supervisors’ research.
All this is not new, but these tendencies have to be strengthened and institutionalized by the
appropriate administrative measures. Whatever is described below, either in what has already
been done, what is being done, and what are proposed as new developments, have the above
strategy in mind. The growing number of Ph.D. students fits this trend.

 The opening of CEU to the World i.e. a new proposed fellowship eligibility is conceived in the
same spirit.

a)     Academic matters.
I shall touch now only on those Departments where changes were or are being introduced.

Economics: Under the new leadership (Mátyás as Chair, Coricelli as Head of Ph.D. Program),
the department is moving from concentration on transition economics to mainstream, technically
high-level, theoretical economics; however the faculty are expected to have an interest in
approaches to political economy which follow from, or are in dialogue with - mainstream
economics. Strong faculty is being appointed with both the M.A. and Ph.D. Programs in mind. It
is expected that they have a serious research and publications record. Moreover, close
cooperation with IMC is envisaged.

History: The Department is to be strengthened and is to develop a focus on 20th century history
with an emphasis on the study of communism and fascism and their relatedness. The support
scheme for contemporary history in the region is in tune with this development. Sorin Antohi is
returning to the Department;         an internationally well-known Polish Historian, Jacek
Kochanowicz, is coming for a year with the plan of settling here half time after a year of
experience. One other appointment is to be made, if a first-class candidate is found. These days
we are screening the applications, and the Advisory Committee of the Department, consisting of
István Deák, Jürgen Kocka and Jacques Revel, meeting here on the 8 of March, are also involved
in the process. No concessions on quality will be made, and an appointment will follow only if
the right candidate is found.

Environmental Sciences and Policy: the Department is becoming a research Department
concentrating on Environmental Policy, and as such its work will be coordinated with other
relevant Departments, as well as the Policy Center. One international expert (Ian Baldwin, the
Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für ökologische Chemie, Jena), who read the files of the
faculty, their teaching programs and research proposals, commented that the “Department
functions excellently at an advanced undergraduate level, but falls short of providing rigorous
graduate-level training.” We are now waiting for another reviewer, suggested by Sir Richard
Southwood, who promised to respond by the end of April (Prof. John Briden). In the meantime,
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the P&B has decided to reduce the number of students to 35 (from 70) as a means of enabling the
faculty to engage in serious research work with them. Four professors cannot supervise 70
graduate students in a serious way. Three faculty members are carrying most of the burden; the
present Chairman, Ed Bellinger, will reduce his teaching load; two others have to be replaced,
one now, and another retires in four years. In any case at least one good new faculty member has
to join the Department. While the faculty is fully cooperating with the Administration in seeing
these changes through, the student body and the alumni defend the Department as it was until
now, with great loyalty and warmth, often praising the Department exactly for the same reason
which makes us critical of it, namely, of having concentrated on training activists. Several
meetings with them took place, and all their letters are being answered.

South East European Studies: Last year the program was suspended and then reestablished for
another year with not much academic quality in its favor. Regional Studies have been abolished
in many leading universities, even if they were of high quality, sticking to a program without
academic merit and without even any regional relevance seemed unacceptable to P&B, and thus
it was again suspended. Here too the students and alumni of the program show great commitment
to their studies and teachers, and are very critical of our suspension of the program. We engage
in a continuous dialogue with them. There is no faculty at CEU at present to provide a
worthwhile program. A new idea is emerging to replace it, about which more below (the
so-called diploma for the civil servants from the Balkans). By next year we will know whether a
suitable substitute for the South East European Studies Program has been found and bring the
topic to the BoT for final decision.



 Gender Studies: this being the only full-scale graduate program for Gender Studies in the
region, and the quality of its students being very high, there is no other plan but to make the
Program much better by attracting high-level faculty who will clearly concentrate on
researchable problems and engage also in serious comparative studies on the diverse problems in
this scholarly area in the region. A two-day State of the Art workshop took place on 4 and 5 of
March, with the best experts in the field from the West and from the region. They outlined an
important research agenda, which presupposes good scholarship, but is also of relevance to the
post-communist countries and to other emerging democracies. Joan Scott of the Princeton
Institute of Advanced Study, now teaching here, played a central role in summarizing the
outcome, as did Juliette Mitchell, who has been charged by Cambridge University to set up a
program for Gender Studies there. Also the contributions of Gisela Bock from Berlin, and of
Sally Humphreys from Oxford, (at present Fellow at the Collegium Budapest), were of
importance. They all expressed readiness to serve on the Advisory Council of the Program. The
lessons will be implemented in the way the existing faculty is evaluated and the new, necessary,
faculty will be recruited. (List of participants in the Workshop is appended).

The Department for International Relations and European Studies is advertising for new
faculty based on the principles outlined above.

In all appointments, the need for the university to be international in its faculty, and by no means
all those from the region to be Hungarian, is being kept in mind.
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A two-day brainstorming workshop took place with an interdisciplinary group of scholars of
high standing, on 26 and 27 of February, discussing the need for creating a type of knowledge
which cannot be imported ready-made from the West, as outlined above. Two possible
developments were discussed: establishing a Department of Public Policy, with a strong interest
in training NGO personnel, and closely coordinated with the Policy Center; second, a unit
temporarily called, “Reflective Social Science”, in which disciplines non-existing at CEU would
be represented, such as Theoretical Sociology, Anthropology, Cognitive and Social Psychology,
Law and Society etc. It is premature now to report on the deliberations, yet one central new
approach emerged: If we thought in the past that the University has what is needed for training
NGO personnel we were wrong, it is clearly a two-way street. It is becoming increasingly clear
that in order to grapple with what we called ”the shifting boundary between the Local and the
Universal” the emerging thinking must feed on problems as supplied by the incumbent NGO
personnel in the field, and they have to become full partners in the creation of theories, while
being trained in the theoretical underpinning of what they are doing. What follows from that is
that we should be trying to develop a theory of praxis, or differently formulated, to develop
partial (middle-range) theories in conflictual local situations, and we should establish the means
of bringing in the knowledge from the field, and work on its theory at the university. Here, again
mutual reliance between the OSI-network and CEU emerges. (List of the participants in the
Workshop is attached).




On the borderline between the academic and the administrative:

The recruitment process as well as the interview system has to be rethought: we must make the
process more effective, cheaper and with more reliance both on interdisciplinary faculty groups
sent out by us, but also by relying on faculty in the various countries, and on our alumni after
they participate in interviews given by our senior faculty to train them. All this has to rely on the
local Foundations of the OSI-network. The extensive availability of videoconference equipment
in the Foundations will be of importance. This becomes especially relevant if we broaden our
fellowship eligibility to distant parts of the world, like Latin America. This is a complex task of
planning and coordination, excellently performed by Rositza Bateson, the Director of Student
Services.

In order to bring the Departments more into tune with each other, at the Rector’s request, the
Senate has appointed an Advisory Committee, consisting of full Professors, whose task is to
review every advertisement for a new position from the point of view of the needs of the
University as a whole, and once the Department has made a recommendation to the Rector about
a new appointment, to review the candidate’s file again from the point of view of the University
as a whole. While the Committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Rector, in case of
disagreement, all parties: that is the Department, the Committee and the Rector, are expected to
engage in a dialogue until all arguments are heard. {The Members of the Committee are: András
Sajó (Chair), János Kis, Gábor Klaniczay, István Rév, and as of next year Jacek Kochanowicz
and Sorin Antohi, and the Rector (ex officio)}.
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In the same spirit, an Interdepartmental Faculty Seminar has been established, meeting once a
month, to discuss important recent publications; this is organized by János Kis.

The CEU Press: A new Editorial Board has been constituted. Its Chairman is Peter Mathias. He
spent several days in Budapest and held in-depth discussions on matters of editorial policy and
financial matters. The Board will convene on 16 April; there is reasonable hope that the future of
the Press is upbeat. (List of the Members of the Editorial Board is attached)



The Policy Center, in spite of some delay in its full operation for personal reasons, is
functioning. Bohdan Krawchenko spent several days in Budapest, dealt with issues of the Policy
Fellows, is about to select a deputy, and a high-powered international Advisory Council has been
appointed. The Council is to meet in June. (List of members of the Council is attached)

Bard College: Following the decision of the Board of Trustees, a cooperation agreement was
prepared and subsequently signed between CEU and Bard College to launch a Study Abroad
Program with an MA option for primarily North American students. The program is expected to
start in the 2000/01 academic year, with 20 students and eventually will work up to 50 students.


b)     Administrative matters
Liviu Matei has been appointed Academic Secretary of the University. In this capacity he is also
the assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees (the Secretary to the Board, is statutorily a
Member of the Board, in our case Mr. Aryeh Neier).

Among his tasks are functions, which are extremely important, and until now there was no one in
charge of these important activities (these are: coordination of academic appointments, review
and promotion procedures; coordination of program and department reviews; academic contacts
with other Universities).

Some measures (belaboring the obvious) were taken: faculty are expected to sign a statement
about their additional teaching load at other Universities; faculty are expected to ask for written
permission from their Department Chair if wishing to be absent during term for private or
academic reasons; Chairs are expected to notify the pro-Rector if they intend to be absent during
term; faculty were asked to send to the Rectorate a list of their publications in the last five years.

Departments were told not to consider the budget on which they agreed upon with P&B as their
“own” budget in which they can introduce changes at will; rather the budget is an overall
university budget, and all changes, whether savings and transfer to other items, or covering
arising needs, have to be approved by P&B.


New York Office: From the 1999/2000 academic year a CEU office was opened in New York
within the OSI New York complex, where a daily operation is maintained and, from the
beginning of spring semester, a permanent staff person as Executive Officer, will run the office.
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Among other tasks the most important aspect of the operation will be, liaison with US
educational authorities, liaison with the different offices of the OSI network (Legal Counsel,
Finance, etc.), representation at conventions and conferences, assisting the Budapest-based
Development Office, and providing help for the International Council and the Chancellor, etc.
The officer is Kinga Réthy.


Computer Center: The Planning and Budget Committee decided to merge the former Center for
Applied Statistics and the Computer Center into one unit, from the beginning of the Spring
semester of the academic year 1999/2000. As of next academic year the new Center of
Computing Sciences and Statistics will provide courses and consultations in the fields of
Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Methods, Probability Theory, Formal Logic,
Modeling, Social and Mathematical Statistics, Operation Research etc. to all departments.
As an academic service unit, it will have a small permanent staff and will hire part-time lecturers
from other Universities in Budapest. Taking into consideration the academic level required to
teach such courses, the faculty of the Center of Computing Sciences and Statistics, will be given
faculty privileges similar to those of other teaching departments, at the same time they can apply
for academic ranks at CEU if they are full-time, or if they are part-time, use the rank awarded to
them at their home institution.
The new Center of Computing Sciences and Statistics may be expanded should the planned
undergraduate teaching require it.


Information Technical Support Services (ITSU): This is the joint computer services unit of
CEU, CEU Holding Ltd, OSA and OSI which is “supposed to provide hardware as well as
software services” to the Budapest network. However, the increasingly unsatisfactory services
of ITSU necessitate a profound personnel and structural revision in the near future.


Fundraising: The period since the last Report was marked by the Sunshine screening event in
December whereby CEU was introduced to a select audience. Some sixty persons were identified
for further potential prospect cultivation. Immediate results included a new Council member
(Peter Nadosy), several donations (Nadosy, Furman, Gruber, Munk) and a commitment to a
substantial potential donation (Ivan Ivanoff/Richard Welden Foundation: for a three year funding
for a new Chair in Conflict Resolution). In the same period the role and support of the
International Council was strengthened by a meeting which resulted in offers by members to
identify friends for CEU among their own contacts*, a June VIP week at CEU for these before
Commencement Day (June 22), and, more Council interaction among members by means of
occasional meetings. (Member Albert Fuss also made a subsequent donation of five
scholarships).
CEU also took steps towards registration for fundraising purposes: in Canada at the federal level,
in the UK via the Inter-University Foundation. In the US, CEU’s P&B decided to focus on 15-20
key states. P&B also approved a series of donor recognition opportunities, including naming of
areas, plaques, etc.

With the forthcoming commencement of the full functioning of the CEU NY office, and the
support of the Chancellor, the Development Office intends to pursue federal and foundation
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funding opportunities in the US further. In this regard, on March 9 for example, Ambassador
Blinken and Congressman Tom Lantos will have submitted a request for $560,000 funding from
USAID for Balkan Ph.D. students in Economics.
Finally the Rectorate and the Development Office work together to cultivate friends for CEU,
from among visiting VIPs, etc.**

* Liz Robbins has already begun this process
** for example, Dr. Colin Campbell arranged for the Budapest visiting members of the
Metropolitan Opers Guild to make visit to CEU

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

We are proposing to the Board a new Fellowship Eligibility plan. It is described under the
appropriate agenda item.

The other important new development proposed here is the establishment of an Undergraduate
College. The arguments for setting it up, and the supporting feasibility claims are outlined in the
proposal under this heading.
The third important proposal is the partial absorption of the IMC into CEU. Here too, there is a
detailed proposal under the appropriate heading in the Agenda.

These new proposals follow from the general strategy outlined in the preamble, and in line with
our wish to develop into a full-fledged University, which is up to its self-formulated mission.

By way of academic service to the region three one-year diploma programs are being planned. A
year for training “Eurocrats,” another one training Civil Servants for the Balkans, and possibly
also a year for training civil servants dealing with Roma affairs. The concept of Eurocrats does
not need any more elaborate explanations; in the accession countries it is important to train
personnel who will know their legal/administrative/fiscal way in Brussels. This program is being
developed by the department of International Relations. Ways will have to be found for the
funding of this program, considering the fact that CEU is not eligible for EU funding.

The need to train civil servants for South East Europe is less obvious. If and when the Stability
Pact begins to fund projects in the region, it is extremely important to have young people from
the region who know how to deal with projects, proposals, local and state governments, moneys,
accounts and a host of other items. They must all have a university degree. It is envisaged that
they would get a module of legal training, a module of economics, a module of political science,
lots of administrative skills and a special course in history. They should study the history of
several countries other than their own from a comparative perspective, trying to understand the
“other’s.” point of view. Such experiments in the West are being tried, like for example writing
French history from the German point of view, and vice versa. The program is being developed
by the relevant departments and by the Policy Center. Here, a request for funding has been
placed with the Stability Pact.

 The need for training civil servants knowledgeable in Roma affairs is similar to the above. This
plan is emerging from the brainstorming held on the 28 February on Roma studies at CEU with
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Western, regional, and Roma participants. (List of participants in the meeting is attached). There
were two main lessons from the discussion:

The research unit on Roma Culture, Society, History has to be strengthened (there are only two
part-time faculty members teaching these topics). The existence of such a unit is a precondition
for being able to allow specialization in Roma studies for interested students (Roma and
non-Roma) from the Political Science Department or the Nationalism Program.

 A six to eight months long intensive training period for those Roma who successfully
completed a first degree and wish to become eligible for a CEU scholarship has to be
established. Whether such an intensive course must be held at CEU or in different countries, was
discussed with diverging views. The time must be spent not only on advanced English, but also
on remedial learning in the disciplines. We have now written to all OSI-network units to ask for
their opinion on our tentative conclusions and to see whether there is agreement on needs. If it
turns out to be so, the resources will have to be rationalized too.


In all three proposals, once we work out a detailed plan (including who teaches what and what
the costs are), and the possibility of the funding is cleared, we shall submit the proposals to the
Board.
In line with the general strategy, we are proposing to the Board a new Fellowship Eligibility
plan. It is described under the appropriate agenda item.



Yehuda Elkana

								
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