Letter from President Eisgruber to the President and Rector of the Central European University

April 1, 2017

April1, 2017

Dr. Michael lgnatieff
President and Rector
Central European University
Budapest, Hungary
via e-mail

Dear Dr. lgnatieff,

In light of pending legislation in Hungary that endangers your university, I write to express my esteem for the work of the Central European University, my support for your institution, and my deep concern about the Hungarian government's treatment of it.

Many faculty members at Princeton have worked closely with the Central European University. I am among them. While directing Princeton's Program in Law and Public Affairs, I co-directed a joint Princeton/CEU project on international human rights. It resulted in the publication of a volume that I co-edited, Global Justice and the Bulwarks of Localism: Human Rights in Context (2005). Joint ventures require considerable work, and I entered this one because of the Central European University's reputation for research and teaching excellence. The Central European University has rapidly established itself as one of the world's important centers for scholarship and learning.

I am therefore deeply concerned that the Hungarian government has proposed legislation that appears intended to shut down the Central European University. Though the legislation comes disguised in neutral categories, its key provisions affect only one university. No one should be deceived: the legislation is an unconscionable attack upon academic freedom, and all friends of free speech and civil society should recognize and oppose it as such.

I know that many of my colleagues here at Princeton join me in hoping that the Central European University will be able to continue its valuable work despite this assault upon it.

With sincere good wishes,

Christopher L. Eisgruber