International AppealAlternative Academic Educational Network (AAEN)47
December 14, 1998
The Republic of Serbia passed a new repressive law on University in May, 1998. This law abolished the autonomy of the University, which has a 160-year tradition. In implementation of the law, the Serbian government made it impossible for university professors to influence the managing and election of academic staff. Since the passing of the new university law, a fierce repression of the university professors who do not want to give up their right to free academic thought has been going on. These professors refused to sign illegal and superfluous employment contracts, which were supposed to be an expression of acceptance of this unconstitutional and repressive law, as well as support for the politics of the Serbian regime. Up until now around fifty professors have been fired from the University, and its been estimated that the number of fired professors will increase to a hundred by the year's end.
Facing the further degradation of the higher education, university professors in Serbia and activists of NGO academic projects decided to establish Alternative Academic Educational Network (AAEN). AAEN is a non-government, non-profit, educational and research association committed to the organization of alternative, parallel multidisciplinary programs, primarily in the disciplines which have been neglected or removed from the university curricula for political reasons. In the education of students, as well as in scientific work and research, professors and associates of the AAEN are fighting to preserve critical thinking and the independence of free academic thought. That is why we address you with a plea to support the work of AAEN and the professors who lost their positions, and who are repressed by the regime on daily basis. You can support our association in several ways by:
1. Writing references and appealing to different foundations and grant agencies to support our program.
2. Sending copies of your books and textbooks, which are unavailable to our professors due to their difficult financial situation.
3. Making a donation for subscription to scientific journals.
4. Taking part as a visiting professor in our programs.
5. Inviting professors from Yugoslavia for sabbaticals at your universities.
6. Notifying your professional organizations about difficult position of the
Belgrade University professors due to enforcement of the new law on universities.
We believe that we can develop a close cooperation that will result in mutual satisfaction. For all questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our e-mail address is email@example.com, attn: Prof. Marija Bogdanovic, Ph.D.47 English translation as received from AAEN.