|May 12, 2004||
Press Contact: Steve Koppes|
University of Chicago offers a luxurious Parisian satellite to its students
Surely Milton Friedman never imagined that the University of Chicago - the University that in his wake formed an entire generation of liberal economists - would install itself in Paris. Yet, this was the choice made by the illustrious institution (70 Nobel Laureates, 22 in economics, 13,000 students) for its first expatriation.
On May 14th The University's President, Don Michael Randel, will inaugurate its new Parisian branch, operational since September 2003. Perhaps a surprising move considering the current crisis within the French University system, to which the American model is often considered exemplary.
"There's a very strong concentration of knowledge in Paris. French research is of the highest quality. We want our students to realize that there is more than just American research, " explains Robert Morrissey, Director of the Paris center and Professor of Literature and History. He adds: "It's true that France is currently experiencing a moment of enormous transformation. But we're betting that things are going to evolve in the right direction. France is always adapting."
After the events of September 11, and especially given the French position on the War in Iraq, Chicago students were less inclined to discover France. There were very few students to come to France this year. But next year, the number of students should almost double. In 2004-2005, Professor Morrissey expects 60 to 70 young Americans to enroll in one of the programs, either year long or quarter long, that the University offers in France (courses in European Civilization, in Math and Computer Science, in Social Science and, of course, in French...). French universities can rest assured: their Chicagoan counterpart does not intend to compete with them. Should French students wish to benefit from Chicago's curriculum, the shores of lake Michigan await them, for a mere $25,000 a year (without financial aid).
Paris is for Americans, but not the touristy, 1950's Paris depicted in Vincente Minnelli's film An American in Paris. Afraid of overspending, the Chicago Boys chose an up-and-coming neighborhood, that of the la Bibliothèque Nationale François-Mitterrand, in the 13th arrondissement.
They thus situated themselves next to the Grands Moulins, which are soon to be renovated to accommodate the students of Jussieu, whose future working conditions will no doubt be greatly enhanced. They will surely look on with envy at the mini-university that has come straight from the United States. Flat-panel computer displays, comfortable classrooms and lounges, individual, air-conditioned offices... Not to mention the paintings that decorate the hallways and offices: several Rouaults next to works by Miro, Hans Hartung and Max Kahn. "A collector donated these works to the University of Chicago more than 50 years ago, in exchange he demanded that they be displayed in a place where students convened. In the past, students would borrow the paintings to take home with them..." recounts Professor Morrissey.
This article originally ran in Le Monde on May 12, 2004. Translation provided by Robert Voyer and Glenn Roe of the ARTFL Project.
Last modified at 01:13 PM CST on Thursday, June 03, 2004.
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