CAS Director Howard Louthan writes letter in support of Central European University in Budapest, Hungary
The Center for Austrian Studies at the University of Minnesota is North America’s oldest and best known research center investigating the past, present and future of Central Europe with a specific focus on Austria and the successor states of the Habsburg Empire. Since our founding in 1977, we have worked closely with a number of Hungarian institutions of higher learning including the Central European University. Scholars associated with the Center for Austrian Studies here at Minnesota have developed close working relationships with faculty at Central European University. CEU’s academic programs in the humanities and social sciences have contributed in substantial ways to the ongoing growth and development of Central European studies. The university plays an important role not just in Hungary but has become a prominent intellectual locus for the region as a whole. Most significantly, CEU as an institution stands as a model of free and uncensored academic debate so critical in our world today and the foundation of any open and democratic society.
We are dismayed with recent political developments in Hungary that propose changes to CEU’s statute of operations within the country. We see this policy as an attack on academic freedom and respectfully urge the government to reconsider this legislative change that is intended to shut down this important academic institution.
Director, Center for Austrian Studies
Professor of History