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The Russian State University for the Humanities lays off its most decorated linguist

Source: Meduza

The Russian State University for the Humanities (RGGU) has informed one of its most decorated scholars, linguist Maxim Krongauz, that it won’t be renewing his contract at the end of the semester. “I’ve worked at RGGU for almost 28 years and chaired the Russian language department for 22 years. What a shame!” Krongauz wrote on Facebook.

Igor Isaev, the head of RGGU’s linguistics department, says Krongauz’s part-time contract with the university is expiring and the notice he received is merely a formality. He’ll need to submit additional personnel paperwork, Isaev says, if he wants to request another labor agreement. Krongauz says he’s worked part-time at RGGU for at least four years already and he's never received any notices from the school’s administration.

RGGU has seen its fair share of scandals lately. In 2016, RGGU President Yefim Pivovar stepped down after 10 years on the job, and the faculty selected Yevgeny Ivakhenko as his replacement. One of Ivakhenko’s rivals for the position accused Russia’s Education Ministry of meddling in the election, after which nearly a dozen professors resigned in protest. In August 2017, without any official explanation, Ivakhenko was suddenly removed as RGGU president. Sources tell Meduza that one of the possible reasons for Ivakhenko’s ouster was his refusal to support the Education Ministry’s plans for a more “clerical and national-patriotic” curriculum.