Vytautas Kavolis’s version of the reestablishment of Vytautas Magnus University
Keywords:Vytautas Kavolis, Algirdas Avižienis, Vytautas Magnus University, Interdisciplinarity, Reestablishment of Vytautas Magnus University
This paper seeks to ascertain how Kavolis’s conception of the idea of a university and of its practical implementation cohered in 1989-1995 with the program undertaken by Algirdas Avižienis and a host of other émigrés in reestablishing Vytautas Magnus University. Kavolis was one of the most active Lithuanian-American academics and one of the deepest thinkers who deliberated on the question of what kind of university was needed and how it should be constructed in a free Lithuania. He spoke out in favor of gathering together Lithuanian academic forces from the world over and saw in this effort the greatest utility for the idea of a free Lithuania. There is no specialized research on this issue yet, and this paper presents Kavolis’s views as expressed in his hitherto unpublished text The University and Tradition. A Letter to the Re-Creators of Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas. In it he discusses the drama of Western universities unfolding not only because of the early specialization of students but also because of the branching of ever narrower genuinely or imitatively created disciplines. Together with other luminaries of Western sociology and philosophy of science Kavolis sought and found balance in interdisciplinarity. This is reflected in the vision he offered to the men and women who rebuilt Vytautas Magnus University.