Report of the President

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After eight years of working in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, the Civic Education Project has learned that to succeed in its goal of supporting educational reform, it must be flexible, and creatively so. Our Visiting Faculty Fellows and Eastern Scholars, interacting every day with faculties, students and university administrations across the region, regularly tell us that the situation in higher education is far from static. It is our very top priority to make sure that we are aware of developments and events in real time, so that our program can respond quickly and effectively.

For example, over the past five years we have enlarged our Local Faculty Fellow program fiftyfold. This enlargement is a continuing response to the needs of western-trained scholars from this region who return to their home countries facing obstacles that, without our intervention, would prevent them from teaching. CEP supplements their salaries, enabling them to teach full time. Just as importantly, CEP links these scholars to their colleagues in the U.S., Western Europe and in other formerly communist countries, helping to alleviate the sense of isolation they often feel. We continue to send Visiting Faculty Fellows to universities in our region, but now we work carefully to team these Visiting Faculty Fellows with out Local Faculty Fellows. We are also moving eastward. In 1991–92 the program operated only in Czechoslovakia.

We now have programs in 19 countries, including most of the former Soviet republics. In the immediate future, we plan to begin working in Mongolia and Azerbaijan. We have learned that while the situations in all these countries are not identical, they share a common history, and the experience of each country is proving valuable to the others. Academic networks broken with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellite countries, are now being re-established on a more equal and mutually-rewarding basis.

We have become a much more international organization. This year we have over 40 nationalities teaching with CEP and over 13 nationalities represented on our staff. Our sources of funding are more international. Added to the strong support we receive from US sources has been a larger European component. In recognition of its international character, CEP was designated by the United Nations as a non-governmental organization with special consultative status this past year.

While our programs in the former Soviet Union are growing in size and dimension, we are not leaving Central and Eastern Europe. On the contrary, those programs often act as pilots for the rest of our region, experimenting in new areas of need, such as working with Roma students and on other human rights issues. They serve as models for new developments in teaching methodology, junior faculty training and curriculum resource development.

The program that CEP began in 1991 has grown considerably since that year. Much progress has been made, but our work is not over. The situation of universities throughout the region has not improved, and in many cases, has worsened. CEP intends to continue its work, responding quickly to meet the constantly changing needs of this volatile region.

We encourage the support of old and new friends and invite your participation at all levels.

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