From Professor Victor Caston
Mr. Zoltán Balog
Minister of Human Capacities
1054 Budapest, Akadémia utca 3.
Dear Minister Balog,
I am writing in support of the Central European University, out of concern regarding recently proposed legislation that would directly threaten its academic freedom, something vital to any university, and thereby affect its international standing.
The CEU is a world class educational institution, which has the respect of scholars around the world. I have not only given a colloquium at the CEU and been highly impressed by its faculty and students, but only two weeks ago served as an external examiner in at a PhD defense on ancient Greek philosophy, which is my speciality. The scholars and students I have worked with over the years are simply first-rate. They bring pride and honor to Hungary, something worthy of its heritage as a great European nation.
To undermine the autonomy and integrity of such a pre-eminent institution will only serve to destroy something Hungary possesses, which of excellence and widely recognized for its value, and thereby damage Hungary's own cultural assets. Harming the nation in this way is surely something the Government cannot and should not support.
I respectfully urge the government to withdraw the proposed legislation and enter consultation with CEU, bearing in mind the damage such legislation might do to Hungary’s well-founded international academic reputation, to its relationships with its European partners and with the United States.
Department of Philosophy
University of Michigan
435 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
Editor of Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy
CC: Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary; Office of the Prime Minister; Central European University