Appeal against the Designation of Bard College as an Undesirable Organization
Published on June 23, 2021
The Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), an international organization for promoting scholarship, training, and intellectual exchange concerning Russia, Eurasia, and Eastern Europe in regional and global context, expresses its strong concern about the recent action of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation with regard to Bard College. On June 21, this legal body officially declared Bard College in New York an “undesirable organization.”
This decision will have a negative impact not only on students and faculty members with Russian citizenship affiliated with Bard College, but also on Bard’s partner organization, Smolny College (the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg State University). This decision guarantees the immediate termination of the long-standing and successful cooperation between the two institutions, and will put an end to a study away program through which more than 1,000 students from over 50 American colleges and universities have spent a semester or summer in Russia. It will adversely impact academic exchange between the US and Russia and is sure to have a chilling effect on Russian-American academic relations in general. It also negatively affects the future of 2,000 Russian students who already hold diplomas from Bard College.
Certainly, Bard College’s 25 years of experience in the development of liberal arts education in Russia runs directly counter to the designation as an “undesirable organization.” ASEEES joins the appeal of Bard College to lift this designation and hopes that Russian government will reevaluate this decision.
The following scholarly societies have also signed:
American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL)
American Philosophical Association
American Sociological Association
German Studies Association