The Russian State University for the Humanities was founded on March 23, 1991. The Moscow State Historico-Archival Institute (MGIAI), the major archival training school for the Soviet Union, has been incorporated as the founding department of the new university. Iurii Afanas'ev, head of the MGIAI, is president of the new university, which is dedicated to the reform of the educational system in Russia. The university will be governed by an association of state, non-governmental, and international institutions. The author traces the erosion of standards for the study of the humanities after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and explains the leadership role of MGIAI in the reform or counter-revolution which began under glasnost' and perestroika. New cooperative research projects and funding through fee-for-service educational programs for institutions, organizations, and firms are the first innovations of the new university.

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