Position of CRASP Presidium on Current Social Developments
We, Rectors of Polish Academic Schools, appeal to the state authorities to immediately find peaceful ways out of the situation in which the Polish society has found itself after the Constitutional Tribunal's ruling.
We find it outrageous to charge rectors with responsibility for increasing the risk of SARSCoV-2 infection among students. The reason for the civic protest of numerous members of the academic community is not the decision of the university authorities to introduce classes-free hours, but the outrage and fear caused by the decision of the Constitutional Tribunal and the statements of government officials affecting the rights of women.
The Presidium of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland received with great surprise and deep concern the statement of the Minister of Education and Science, Dr habil. Przemysław Czarnek, in which, violating the autonomy of the university, he declared that decisions on the allocation of funds for investments and scientific projects will depend on the position taken by the universities in the face of the protests.
The public funds used to finance scientific research and education of youth should be allocated by the ministry and its agencies solely on the basis of substantive criteria. We consider the use of public funds to "punish" universities that have made decisions in accordance with the law and their autonomy as a scandalous sign of forgetting that the Polish taxpayer's money should serve all eligible entities, not only those that find recognition in the eyes of the authorities.
Having in mind the times (happily gone by) when the communist authorities subjected Polish universities to ideological pressure, we believe that it would be a great mistake to attempt to use the supervision of universities for political pressure on rectors and academic communities.
Considering the seriousness of the situation, the Presidium of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland expresses its readiness to begin talks with the Minister of Education and Science as soon as possible.
President of CRASP
Prof. Dr habil. Eng. Arkadiusz Mężyk