Prof. Urszula Jackowiak honorary professor at the University of Gdańsk


An outstanding scientist and a true lady demanding not only from others but above all from herself, who always took into account the emotions and needs of others - this is how the Rector, prof. Piotr Stepnowski, spoke about prof. Urszula Jackowiak, who became an honorary professor of the University of Gdańsk on Thursday.

On July 4, 2024, prof. dr hab. Urszula Jackowiak was awarded the title of honorary professor of the University of Gdańsk, granted by a resolution of the UG Senate from March 28, 2024. The ceremony began with the singing of the national anthem by the UG Academic Choir.

The guests gathered in the University of Gdańsk Library were welcomed by the Dean of the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Gdańsk, dr hab. Wojciech Zalewski, prof. UG, and passed the floor to the Rector, prof. dr hab. Piotr Stepnowski: ‘When discussing the application submitted by the Faculty of Law and Administration for the honouring of Professor Urszula Jackowiak with the title of honorary professor of our university, we unanimously emphasised not only the importance of her scientific achievements, the functions she performed, for example, as pro-rector for education, but we also referred to the kind of person she is,’ said the Rector. ‘This is, dear Ladies and Gentlemen, the second outstanding scientist and a true lady to be included in this group, together with prof. Małgorzata Czermińska. I am proud that future generations can draw scientific and social models from the lives of our two outstanding female researchers. For this is a part of the mission which, alongside teaching, is extremely important at the university - into the world, from the walls of our Alma Mater, go generations we want to be proud of. We should pass on to them not only valuable knowledge, but also shape interpersonal relations, teach them to look at the world not only through the "scientific lenses", but also by listening to others. Just as Professor Urszula Jackowiak taught us.

In his opinion on the awarding of the honorary title, prof. dr hab. Krzysztof Baran of the Jagiellonian University also wrote that Ms Professor has had a significant impact on the shape of the labour law and social security system, built since the beginning of the system transformation in 1990.

Prof. Urszula Jackowiak's involvement in the development of the University of Gdańsk was discussed by prof. dr hab. Monika Tomaszewska, who delivered the laudation. - Professor Jackowiak also had an enormous impact on the development of the University of Gdańsk. Her contribution to academic life consisted of her activities in the Senate of the University and in the Senate Committee for the Development of Academic Personnel. Professor Jackowiak, as Vice-Dean for Education (1999-2002), showed great commitment to the academic community. Her activities were focused on the development of knowledge, good practices, as well as on opening the University to international contacts and cooperation with the external environment. Her activities were of particular importance in the context of Poland's accession to the European Union, introducing the Bologna system, i.e. the system of recognition and comparison of qualifications in the field of education, at the UG.

In her congratulatory speech, prof. dr hab. Małgorzata Gersdorf, from 2014 to 2020 First President of the Supreme Court and a reviewer in the process of conferring an honorary professorship, also spoke about Prof. Jackowiak's academic achievements. ‘Prof. Jackowiak's scientific interests focused on issues related to labour protection in its broadest sense. They were often pioneering. Her doctoral thesis dealt with non-property damage, which was innovative in the years when this monograph was written (1975r). Much of Ms Professor's work was devoted to occupational health and safety and to the concept of disability, the vocational rehabilitation of invalids. A habilitation dissertation on employee qualifications (1987) should also be included in this stream of research. Her investigations into the meaning of the principle of equality and non-discrimination and her pioneering results have influenced the formation of doctrine and practice in this area. For these works and their topicality, Ms Professor was honoured with the Halina Krahelska Award from the PAS Chief Labour Inspector (2021). A continuation of these interests was the monograph 'The labour situation of women' (1994), combining legal and social themes.

The speeches were followed by the presentation of an honorary professorship diploma to Prof. Urszula Jackowiak. The content of the diploma was read out by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, dr hab. Wojciech Zalewski, prof. UG, and the presentation was made by the Rector of UG, prof. Piotr Stepnowski , and the Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, dr hab. Anna Jurkowska-Zeidler, prof. UG.

This was followed by an acceptance speech by prof. dr hab. Urszula Jackowiak. ‘There is something beautiful in our Polish souls. We are able to find something beautiful in the people who surround us, no matter what kind of work they do. Of course, like everyone else, I have a huge number of faults, and I think that above all I have flaws, but there are flashes of goodness, and it is the rectoral authorities and reviewers who have caught these moments. Believe me, these feelings that I do not fully deserve all these kind words and distinctions are due to the fact that I know myself a little better,’ said the professor, who also shared with the assembled guests reflections from her youth and memories of her father.

The final point of this part of the ceremony was the awarding of habilitation diplomas and doctoral promotions.

Julia Bereszczyńska/Press Team