An association of almost quarter of a century between Bard College at the State University of New York and St. Petersburg, arrived at an abrupt one last month when the Russian Attorney General's office appointed Bard an "undesirable" organization.

The designation in effect criminalizes BARD in Russia and makes people work on behalf of the University in Russia potentially subject to prison fines or sentences up to six years.

Jonathan Becker, Executive Vice President and Bard's Vice President Executives for Academic Affairs, said that there is uncertainty about how the law will be applied, and it is not clear whether criminal penalties could be applied simply by virtue of being affiliated with Bard, "What makes it so dangerous," he said.

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