Co-founder and current chair of the Center for European Studies Stanley H. Hoffman is stepping down from his post after 27 years.
Hoffman, Dillon professor of the civilization of France, founded the Center for European Studies (CES) in 1968, along with Guido Goldman, who then became its director. Goldman retired from his position last year.
"Stanley has been here since the beginning," said Andrew Moravcsik, assistant professor of government. "It's unimaginable to have a Center for European Studies without him."
Hoffman originally founded the CES with hopes of forming a community of graduate students, tenured professors and non-tenured professors interested in studying European culture and history.
According to Hoffman, one of his two main sources of satisfaction about the Center has been the family spirit that has evolved among researchers there.
"I am very happy with the way that [the CES] has been going, mainly because over the years, we have trained some teachers of European affairs all over the country and world," Hoffman said in a telephone interview yesterday. "There's also a good family spirit in the center itself, of visitors, faculty members and graduate students."
Hoffman will continue to teach and will remain active the affairs of the CES, but he said he is anxious to be relieved of the myriad of administrative tasks required of him as chair.
"Out of the 40 years that I've been here, I've had administrative jobs for 38 of them," Hoffman said. "It's time to spend some years without those duties."
Hoffman will continue to work on two books which reflect the two major concerns of his academic career: the politics of France and international relations.
"That should be enough to keep me busy," he said.
Current Director of the CES, Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies Charles S. Maier, will assume full responsibilities for overseeing the center. Hoffman's position as chair will be eliminated.
Although Hoffman said he leaves his post with little anxiety or worry, members of the CES note that his departure marks the end of an era.
"He's been leading the Center and shaping its life for the past 26 years," said Thomas Ertman, associate professor of government, who team-teaches Historical Studies A-72: "The Rise of the Modern State" with Hoffman and Peter A. Hall, professor of government. "Any time a founder retires from the scene, it represents a huge step in the life of an institution."
Hoffman's leadership was marked by two characteristics, Ertman said: a profound tolerance for intellectual diversity and an anti-hierarchical, democratic system.
"He's one of the two or three leading scholars of his generation," Moravcsik said.