Salary Not specified
Feb 01, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Central European University


Budapest, Hungary

Central European University (CEU), a private, English-speaking, singularly international, and research-intensive university, in Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary, seeks a Rector. CEU was founded in 1991 by George Soros and dissident scholars and activists across Central and Eastern Europe as a social sciences and humanities university. It was formed to aid Central and Eastern Europe in establishing democracy; today, it maintains that commitment to Central and Eastern Europe, but now teaches the most international student body of any research university in the world, with an emphasis on developing nations. Ten percent of the student body of 1,300 comes from Hungary, five percent from the United States, and less than one percent from any other country. It is hard to imagine another university like it. It seeks a Rector committed to its open society missions and capable of building an enduring, globally consequential university.

CEU has achieved significant scholarly distinction for a university of its relative youth and modest size. It is internationally ranked for many of its disciplines. It issues degrees as a United States university. It has campuses in Budapest, which was its home for most of its life, and Vienna, where it has moved in the last year and has been generously welcomed. It offers mainly master’s-level and doctoral programs in the social sciences, humanities, law, management, and public policy.

The next Rector will join the University on the cusp of a critical and exciting chapter, rallying the community behind an idealistic, and now expanded, shared purpose. George Soros, through the Open Society Foundation (OSF), has just made an exceptionally generous commitment, and one that will give the University a ten-year window to grow, to reimagine its future, to become increasingly global and essential to global development, to include undergraduate education and to build the assets and revenue streams that will create a great and enduring institution. Crucially, OSF has committed €1 billion to build the Open Society University Network (OSUN), a new global network led by CEU and Bard College that integrates learning and the advancement of knowledge across the globe – and especially in the South and East – and develops the research and teaching essential to open societies on every continent.

As CEU looks to its future, it seeks candidates with the intellectual gravitas, managerial skill, diplomatic acumen, and global perspective to lead the University into this next chapter. CEU seeks a Rector who can navigate and lead a cross-border relocation and establishment of a new campus, the creation of an undergraduate program, the pursuit of revenue-producing graduate programs, the creation of an international network of universities, and the solidification of a financially sound university with a mission unlike any other in the world. CEU seeks to successfully establish itself in Vienna, engage in mission definition and clarity, and weigh and implement critical strategies to ensure long-term mission success. 

CEU has engaged the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller to assist with this important process. Inquiries, nominations, and applications should be submitted in confidence to