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Volume 3, Number3 Winter 1998

Civic Education Project

NEWSLETTER

THE HUMAN RIGHTS EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE: CEP Fellows in the Field

Eleanor Roosevelt helped draft the United NationsDeclaration on Human Rights, 1948

CEP BUDAPEST
President
Donna Culpepper

Director of Baltic &Eurasia Programs
Nandini Ramanujarn

Director of Central & Eastern European Programs
Jeffrey A. Meyers

Program Associate
Katalin Miklos

Program Assistant
Gyorgyi Puruczky

 

CEP NEW HAVEN
Vice President
Susan Ingleby

Director ofFinance
Les Prokop

External Relations Officer
Emily J. Lehrman

Director of Faculty Recruitment 6- University Relations
Anne Clift Boris

Program Offlcer
Jacqueline Kozin

Financial Assistant
Diane Hoffman

Program Assistant
Shayne Asbury

CEP BOARD-OF-DIRECTORS

Dr. T. Mills Kelly (Chair)
Texas Tech University

Ms. Donna M. Culpepper (President)
Civic Education Project

Professor Shlomo Avineri
Hebrew University ofjerusalem

Ms. Anne Clunan
University of California, Berkeley

Mr. Leslie C. Francis
WinnerlWagner 6- Associates

Dr. Stephen R. Grand
German Marshall Fund of the US

Mr. Joseph S. Iseman, Esq.
1auk Weiss, Rilkind Wharton & Garrison

Mr. Lionel C. Johnson
Citicorp

Professor Stanley N. Katz
Princeton University

Professor Jacek Kochanowicz
Warsaw University

Ms. Wendy Luers
Aoundation for a Civil Society

Professor Gustav Ranis
Yale University

Professor Henry Rosovsky
Harvard University

 

From the Desk of the President

TO that end, we recently engaged Aileen Rainbow, who was a CEP Visiting Faculty Fellow in Russia for t past two years, to identify partners in Western Europe. Aileen is a German citizen, and a graduate the Free University of Berlin as well as Oberlin College.We are working with her to develop important new contacts for CEP which will make us even more international in composition and flavor.

Donna Culpepper (left), President of CEP and Nino Dzotsenidze, Country Director GeorgialArmenia, cut the celebration cake at the Caucasus Orientation.

 

New Haven Report

NEW ADDITIONS

TO THE CEP BOARED OF DIRECTORS

LionelJohnson (left), new BoardMember, with Ste phen Grand,

co-founder of CEP

"INNOVATIVE TEACHING STRATEGIES" IN ROMANIA

NEWS FROM RUSSIA

Nicholas Sellers (left), Visiting Faculty Fellow at Babes Bolyai and Yasmin Lodi (center), Visiting Faculty Fellow

at University of Bucharest, surrounded by teaching workshop participants.

Liana Ghent, Country Director Romania, speaking at the Balkan Debate Forum.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVES ON ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM IN POLAND

THE 1999 INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CONFERENCE

April 13-18, 1998, Budapest, Hungary

A CASE STUDY OF CEP INVOLVEMENT

by Paul Cantor, CEP Fellow 1995-97, Bratislava, Slovakia

Democracy in Slovakia? was the provocative tide of an open forum held on April 21, 1998 at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. The event was attended by more than three hundred people. Anthony Pahigian, the Chief Political Officer at the US Embassy in Bratislava, and Sven Kuhn Von Burgsdorff, member of the European Union’s delegation to Slovakia spoke at the Forum. Peace Corps volunteers foreign students, faculty members, members of the press, and representatives of political parties an non-governmental organizations attended this forum. Also present were students from the Economic University and the City University and nearly all of the faculties of Comenius University.

Students to Promote Democracy in Slovakia (SPDS) organized the Open Forum. SPDS was formed in Bratislava by students at Comenius University under the guidance of Civic Education Project Fellows The organization’s goal is to promote open forums that bring academics and the wider community

Two days after the forum, the organizers met to evaluate it and to plan similar events for the future. The overwhelming consensus was that the Forum far exceeded the coordinators' expectations. No one anticipated that so many people from so many different colleges and organizations would attend. Furthermore, no one expected the discussion to be as lively or as inspirational as it was. The room was packed throughout the proceedings, and when it ended there were still many people waving their hands, hoping to be recognized.

A VIEW FROM INSIDE:

Impressions of an Institution as a Microcosm of a Society in Transformation

Imagine an institution under Soviet management since its inception; in fact, imagine a Communist Party training school in the Kazak Soviet Socialist Republic. Next, it's 1992, a year after Kazakhstan's independence. By resolution, the president of the republic, Nursultan Nazarbaev, transformed the school into the Kazak Institute of Management, Economics and Strategic Research, fondly known as KIMEP Although the institution has a new mandate to "train personnel ... according to the highest standards of the European Community and the United States," has anything really changed in the past six years? The changes at KIMEP are a good indicator of economic and social changes in the country.

KIMEP had approximately 450-500 students during the 1997-98 academic year. The institute boasts an international senior faculty from as far away as India and Kentucky Furthermore, this facility of higher education has been very active in training excellent quality students and in introducing innovative teaching methods. Although the quality of instruction is quite high by regional standards "it must continue to improve" said Dr. Chan Young Bang (chair of the Board of Directors), so that KIMEP students can compete internationally. Much of this has evolved because, unlike many universities, KIMEP is very responsive to finding opportunities for junior faculty and students, rather than just for its top administrators and senior faculty.

KIMEP's success in garnering international support for its institution has allowed it to introduce a preparatory English language year for students who need it. The Institute has been able to open a student computer center.

Furthermore, since the return of Dr. Bang this fall (to an office across the hall from CEP), a new dynamism has been generated within the institution. Dr. Bang has the mandate (given him by President Nazarbaev) to privatize KIMEP within the next three years. Dr. Bang and his multinational team have been busy developing internal proposals to restructure the institute in order to improve efficiency and standards, as well as generating external support for the privatization process itself.

Although MMEP will attempt to make this transition as smooth as possible, effects will certainly be felt by its employees. There are some four facilities staff for every faculty member, some of whom are bound to be casualties in the KIM transformation. President Nazarbaev has attempted to ease this evolution issuing a decree this October requiring all state enterprises to reduce their staff 25%. Now the responsibility falls on the president rather than on the process restructuring. While this will help to make many entities more economical, it naturally creates a difficult situation for many of the people who will be laid These individuals will have problems finding employment in another bloated enterprise. All state bodies and the government of Kazakhstan must even face this problem, as unemployment will increase tremendously. But, brought down to the human level, who will change burned out light bulbs clean the floor or prepare the food in the school cafeteria? It is difficult to imagine how someone who has few skills can be absorbed into the new job market. As 25% of the s must be let go in the near future, the man who changes the light bulbs will be, the only person4n this situation.

ALUMNI BULLETIN BOARD

When our alumni return from the region, they leave not only their host universities and hundreds of students, but also a close network of friends. When we ask past CEP Fellows what they would like to receive from CEP after their time with us, the response most often given is "a forum where we can keep in touch with each other." Given that CEP has an alumni base of some 600 people, this is a daunting task.

In response to these requests, CEP has added a bulletin board to its web page. This bulletin board is an interactive message board, where alumni can post greetings, job announcements' publishing opportunities and conference information for one another.

This board is password protected, so that only CEP alumni are able to access it. If you are a CEP alum, and you would like a username and password, or if you are interested in working with CEP alumni, please contact Anne Clift Boris at aboris@cep.yale.edu.

 

THE SLOVAK NATIONAL ELECTION - SEPTEMBER 1998

by David Reichardt, CEP Fellow 1997-99, Bratislava, Slovakia

On September 25th and 26th, the Slovak people went to the polls to elect a new national government. As a political science lecturer in Bratislava, I was keenly interested in this election, not least because it would provide the forum for a national referendum on the neo-authoritarian government that has been in power since the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Fortunately, I was able to observe the electoral process first-hand, as I accompanied our Country Director, Zora Vidovencova, to the polls in Bratislava.

 

 

Upon entering her precinct, I was immediately struck by the large turnout. Id’ been an election judge in the United States for several years, but rarely witnessed the lines and numbers I observed in Bratislava. Apparently, the situation was similar throughout the country. In fact, official statistics subsequently put the overall turnout at 84.3 (higher than in any neighboring country, with extremely high youth participation).

International monitoring of the election was also well in evidence. I personally observed the OS( presence at Zora's particular precinct.

To the astonishment and delight of a majority of Slovaks, the election resulted in a new government which, according to all indications, appears to be committed to further democratization and the rule of law. Time will tell. However, what is clear from observing the election process is that these core values already well instilled in the general populous which, one can be sure, will not easily relinquish them

 

 

David Reichardt, VFF Slovakia, teaching at Comenius University in Bratislava.

HISTORICAL STUDY AS FREEDOM OF SPEECH

by Anne Clift Boris, CEP Fellow 1995-1997, Minsk, Belarus

CEP'S LOCAL INITIATIVE BECOMING AN INTERNATIONAL PROJECT

CALL FOR PAPERS

 

EASTERN SCHOLAR INITIATIVE IN ACTION

 

EASTERN SCHOLAR ALUMNI AWARD ESTABLISHED

Civic Education Project

NEWSLETTER

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