April 4, 2017
Mr. Zoltán Balog
Minister of Human Capacities
1054 Budapest, Akadémia utca 3.
Dear Minister Balog,
In light of recent legislation that, rammed through the Hungarian Parliament in unseemly haste; legislation that, if enacted, would jeopardize the continuing operation of Central European University, or at the very least endanger its independence, we – the members of the Philosophy Departments of Rutgers University, New Brunswick and Newark– write to express our joint support for the Central European University, and our deep concern about your government's attack on academic freedom and excellence. None of the government's rationale for its proposed legislation – wishing to crack down on fraudulent private universities from other countries – makes sense in the case of CEU. The Central European University is one of the few remaining independent cultural institutions in Hungary, and the most prominent and prestigious university in all of East-Central Europe – a gem.
A number of our faculty – as well as faculty in other departments all over the country – have worked with colleagues at CEU, participated in its conferences and highly-regarded summer schools, and were visitors at the CEU Institute for Advanced Study.
We are gravely concerned about this attack on academic freedom, higher education, and civil society. We stand with CEU, and hope your government will reconsider this ominous legislation.
Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Professor, Chair, Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, Newark