Sunday, September 23, 2012

Istanbul Bilgi University, and its rector

I've written before about the culture of universities and the obstacles that face new ones. The 2012 game theory world congress was hosted by Istanbul Bilgi University, which turns out to be quite a new institution. Its Rector Remzi Sanver is a well known member of the game theory/social choice/economic design community, and his opening address refers to some of the difficulties he faces as the head of a new, secular university in Turkey.

"Istanbul Bilgi University, since its foundation, has taken clear and unequivocal positions throughout the democratization process of our country. That encompasses a long list of conferences held within our offices when no one wanted to host such conferences, as well as students accepted in classes when sartorial conditions were imposed almost everywhere else. We have been harshly criticized for most of our positions and deeds. We are still sometimes severely criticized, but we continue to abide by our values, which are universally and largely accepted, to safeguard our liberal and pluralistic stance." 

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