Markku Lonkila, Docent of Sociology, Finnish Academy Research Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Helsinki

Dear Rector,

I have read the internet appeal by the students of the Department of Sociology at your university with deep concern. According to the appeal, the Department is in severe crisis and the practices described by students do not correspond to decent scientific, administrational or educational standards. The situation is currently being discussed among the Finnish researchers interested in Russian society.

If the description of the appeal is correct, the Department clearly cannot fullfill its functions. This will not only affect the level of sociological education and research in Russia but also cut the Department off from international co-operation, and seriously damage the reputation of the whole university.

I would strongly suggest that you will carry out a thorough investigation at the Department and - if the appeal is justified - put the situation right.

Yours sincerely

Markku Lonkila
Docent of Sociology
Finnish Academy Research Fellow
Department of Sociology
University of Helsinki