UG Senate meeting [06.07.2023].

fot. Marcel Jakubowski

From left: dr Justyna Michałek Kwiecień, dr hab. Maria Kaźmierczak, prof. UG, prof. dr hab. Beata Pastwa-Wojciechowska, and prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski

The appointment of six new professors at the university, changes to postgraduate study programmes, or awards to faculty and researchers for scientific achievements are just some of the decisions taken by the Senate of the University of Gdansk during its last meeting before the summer holidays, held on July 6, 2023.

Rector UG prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski opened the meeting by congratulating the editors of two psychology journals: Health Psychology Report and Current Issues in Personality Psychology, having an impact factor of 2.0 and 1.0 respectively, which is a remarkable success in the social sciences. Diplomas for this achievement were awarded to prof. dr hab. Mariola Bidzan, prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Lipowska, prof. dr hab. Beata Pastwa-Wojciechowska, dr hab. Maria Kaźmierczak, prof. UG, and dr Justyna Michałek-Kwiecień.

Further recognitions were given to UG faculties whose programmes of study ranked in the top five by the Perspektywy magazine. Congratulations from the Rector of UG were received by:

- Vice-Dean for Research and International Cooperation of the Faculty of Social Sciences dr. hab. Radosław Kossakowski, prof. UG for Philosophy, Psychology and National Security

- Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry dr hab. Beata Grobelna, prof. UG for Environmental Protection

- Dean of the Faculty of Biology prof. dr hab. Dariusz Szlachetko for Biology

- Dean of the Faculty of Languages dr hab. Urszula Patocka-Sigłowy, prof. UG for Cultural Studies

- Dean of the Faculty of Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG and GUMED dr hab. Ewelina Król, prof. UG for the second (and highest among UG faculties) position for Biotechnology

- Dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration dr hab. Wojciech Zalewski, prof. UG for the 4th place for the whole faculty in the ranking of the Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper

From left: prof. Piotr Stepnowski and prof. Radosław Kossakowski 

From left: prof. Piotr Stepnowski and prof. Radosław Kossakowski 

Prof. Piotr Stepnowski also presented the Krzysztof Celestyn Mrongowiusz 'Teacher of the Year' Award to dr hab. Maciej Nyka, prof. UG. A distinction in the same award category went to dr hab. Krzysztof Najman, prof. UG.

With that, the UG Senate moved on to deliberate on the first scheduled item of the meeting, voting on the draft of the resolution on awarding Olga Tokarczuk the title of doctor honoris causa of the University of Gdańsk. Prof. Urszula Patocka-Sigłowy reported on the to-date work of the committee and reviewers appointed on January 26 this year.

'Olga Tokarczuk has dedicated her writings to the idea of freedom and the multiplication of rights: in her novel 'Empuzjon', she calls for an increase in women's rights and is involved in the feminist movement; in the novel 'Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead', she calls for an increase in animal rights; in 'The Books of Jacobs', she calls for an increase in the rights of minorities, while at the same time emphasising the subjectivity of objects such as rivers, e.g. the Oder,' justified the proposal to confer the UG's highest honour title the committee's representative, dr hab. Marcin Całbecki, prof. UG.

The Rector of the University of Gdansk, prof. Piotr Stepnowski, emphasised that the Polish Nobel laureate is linked to Gdansk not only in the symbolic sphere based on the idea of freedom. Olga Tokarczuk is also an alumna of the seminar of prof. Maria Janion associated with the University of Gdansk. After speeches by representatives of the Faculty of Philology, the UG Senate adopted the draft resolution.

Subsequently, the authorities of five faculties submitted motions to the Senate to employ six academics as professors of the university:

- dr hab. Valentina Hodlevska at the Faculty of Social Sciences

- dr hab. Andrzej Piotrowski at the Faculty of Social Sciences

- dr hab. Małgorzata Pilot at the Faculty of Biology

- dr hab. Monika Tarsalewska at the Faculty of Economics

- dr hab. Mirosława Modrzewska at the Faculty of Philology

- dr hab. Michał Mochocki at the Faculty of History

All applications were successful. Proponents cited, among other things, the internationalisation of research, popularisation of science, assistance in the development of young research staff, a vital role in developing new fields of study and teaching excellence.

The Senate also voted on a motion by the Dean of the Faculty of History, dr hab. Arkadiusz Janicki, prof. UG, to commence proceedings to award prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Pomian an honorary doctorate of the University of Gdańsk. A commission composed of prof. Arkadiusz Janicki, prof. dr hab. Wiesław Długokęcki, and prof. dr hab. Stanisław Rosiek will confer the title of doctor honoris causa, with prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Omilanowska, prof. dr hab. Tomasz Jasiński from UAM, and prof. dr hab. Antoni Zięba from UW as reviewers.

The floor was then taken by the Chancellor of the University of Gdańsk, Jacek Jętczak, who asked the Senate to approve a donation from the City of Hel in the form of real estate near the Professor Krzysztof Skóra Marine Station. 'The University of Gdańsk has been trying to settle this property for 40 years. There is a gatehouse and a gift shop on this plot of land, but also an energy intake and a saltwater intake, which is used for keeping seals,' the UG Chancellor justified the request.

The University Senate voted in favour of a motion to accept the donation, as well as a further motion by Chancellor Jętczak for the University to join the Mutual Insurance Company 'PZUW'. Anna Kruszyńska, Head of the Insurance Section, presented the justification for this.

On behalf of the Vice-Chancellor for Students and Quality of Education, dr hab. Arnold Kłonczyński, prof. UG, proposals for changes in postgraduate study programmes were presented by the Vice-Chancellor for International Cooperation, dr hab. Anna Jurkowska-Zeidler, prof. UG. The Senate approved the proposals, which had been previously given a positive opinion by the UG Senate Education Committee.

fot. Marcel Jakubowski

The 2022 activity report was presented by the Council of the University of Gdańsk, chaired by dr hab. Maciej Duszczyk, prof. UW. The Council's representative, dr hab. Dominik Antonowicz, prof. UMK, talked about, among other things, work on amendments to the UG statute, monitoring of the university's financial situation and support for work related to the internationalisation process. The Senate approved the report.

The reasons for the creation and content of the new UG Conflict of Interest Policy were discussed by the Vice-Rector for Cooperation and Development, dr hab. Sylwia Mrozowska, prof. UG. The University of Gdańsk Rector expressed his thanks for the intensive work on the document, which is now, among other things, an indispensable element of applications for the extension of International Research Agencies.

The Vice-Dean for Internationalisation and Development of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science, dr hab. Aleksander Kubicki, prof. UG, requested the Senate to accept a donation from Intel for a research project led by dr hab. Paweł Żyliński, prof. UG, which concerns the packaging of Steiner Trees. The UG Senate approved the motion.

During the free motions, UG Rector prof. Piotr Stepnowski thanked all those involved in the organisation of SEA-EU Governing Week, highlighted UG's advancement in the ranking of the Perspektywy magazine and presented a recommendation to the entire academic community concerning the use of AI algorithms such as ChatGPT. Details of the university authorities' recommendation will be sent in an email.

The Vice-Chancellor for Research prof. dr. hab. Wiesław Laskowski informed us about the completion of the integration of the faculty committees dealing with research ethics into one university-wide Ethics Committee. The unit will take its first action after the summer holidays.

The Deputy Director for Sports at the Centre for Physical Education and Sport, Tomasz Aftański, talked about UG's successes at the Polish Academic Championships, where the university took 4th place in the general classification and 2nd place in the university classification.

‘We are ending this academic year in good spirits. All signs indicate that the university is doing well and will do even better. This is all thanks to the commitment and hard work of the entire academic community of the University of Gdańsk, for which I sincerely thank you.’

Photo and text by Marcel Jakubowski/ UG Press Team