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Scholar reports receiving salary of zero rubles for teaching at Moscow State University as administrators deny his claims

Source: Meduza
Vyacheslav Prokofiev / TASS / Scanpix / LETA

Askold Ivantchik, a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told journalists that the leadership of Moscow State University (MGU) has asked him to teach without a salary this academic year.

Ivantchik has been teaching as an adjunct instructor in MGU’s History Department since 2006. He said the salary for that appointment has always been “symbolic”: It was paid only to enable the university to officially list the instructor as a university employee. In an interview with the business newspaper Kommersant, Ivantchik clarified that he does teach full-fledged classes at the university. His duties include giving lectures, leading seminars, and proctoring exams, he said, and “the only difference is the salary scheme.”

According to the historian, he was told at the beginning of the current academic year that “the History Department has gone totally broke” and would have to offer him an official salary of zero rubles. “Of course, I agreed — I wasn’t teaching there for the money… I hadn’t heard about anything like that before, but you never know what can happen. I wonder whether the leaders of other educational and research institutions will catch on to this new innovation — think how much they could save,” Ivantchik wrote sarcastically on Facebook.

Lev Belousov, the acting dean of MGU’s History Department, told Vedomosti that Ivantschik’s claims “do not accurately reflect the true state of events.” He added, “Those who work as adjunct instructors at the History Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University receive a salary in accordance with the renumeration assigned to the positions they occupy.”

Ivantchik called the situation surrounding his compensation “somewhat absurd.” “It’s an expression of total disrespect to [the university’s] employees. It’s appalling. This kind of thing shouldn’t happen,” he told Kommersant.

Report by Alexander Filimonov

Translation by Hilah Kohen