The American University in Bulgaria was established in 1991 a joint venture between the University of Maine, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Soros Foundation and the Bulgarian government. The school, the only American university in Eastern Europe, was meant to be a bastion of western thought and values in the former Communist bloc. Although the school has been open for six years, no one had really looked into whether the American university was living up to its mission as a democratizing force in Eastern Europe. What was found was both heartening and disappointing. For example, the students are highly motivated, but they are sometimes hindered by a faculty and administration that is not of the highest caliber. Faculty turnover is astoundingly high so the university has been unable to build a base of experienced teachers and administrators. In addition, the university faces massive financial problems that would daunt any school administrator.