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Franklin D. Roosevelt

Leiden University to partner with Roosevelt Institute for American Studies

Leiden University and the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (RIAS) in Middelburg, previously the Roosevelt Study Center, will sign an agreement on 16 December 2017 confirming a strategic partnership.

Too vulnerable

Before 2012 the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg was an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Since that time the Center has been subsidised by the Province of Zeeland and the Ministry of Education. Culture and Science. These subsidies are no longer adequate. The position of the Center has become too modest and vulnerable, in spite of its good reputation. 

Reorganisation

The Campus Zeeland! advisory note produced by the Education Authority in Zeeland, recommended that the Center should be reorganised and that a strategic collaboration should be formed with a strong partner. The Center's Advisory Board has adopted the recommendation, and entered into a collaboration with Leiden University (Faculty of Humanities). The revamped RIAS will have a new board, one member of which will be Leiden Professor of American History, who is also Leiden University Professor of the History and Culture of North America. He will take over the management of the Center from the present director, Ghent Professor Kees van Minnen, who has been head of the organisation for thirty years. 

New future

The Roosevelt Institute for American Studies in partnership with Leiden University will become a graduate school in the field of American Studies and Trans-Atlantic Relations: four or five PhD candidates will conduct research there and national and international PhD training will also be organised. 

Bachelor's and master's teaching

Bachelor's and master's programmes will be taught, some by an American visiting lecturer to be appointed in Middelburg on an annual basis. The RIAS will also work with University College Roosevelt and the Roosevelt Foundation to organise conferences and meetings in the field of American history, trans-Atlantic relations and themes related to the Four Freedoms (formulated in 1941 by American President Franklin Roosevelt).
The collaboration with Leiden University will take the form of two part-time lecturers, namely the Leiden University Professor of the History and Culture of North America and Giles Scott-Smith, Professor of the History of Trans-Atlantic Relations. 

Leiden Rector Magnificus: strong combination

Rector Magnificus of Leiden University, Carel Stolker, is very happy with the collaboration with the new RIAS: ‘American Studies, which has been a strong area for Leiden for a number of decades, can now develop further. Connecting Leiden University, with the "freedom" that we advocate as our motto, with Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms in Middelburg is a strong combination that will generate many future benefits.' 

‘Association with a great university’

From the United Staes, the Emeritus Chair of the Board of the Roosevelt Institute, William van den Heuvel, reacted positively to the alliance with Leiden University: ‘To be associated with such a great University is itself an act expressing admiration for what the RSC and its leadership have accomplished in the 30 years of its existence.’

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