POLAND: DISPUTE OVER ACADEMIC FREEDOM

Created: 5/13/1982

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

POLAND: Dispute Ovor Academic Freedom

Uarnaw Uniifersitfj'a effort^^Oetcfentl its autonomyhowdown with the regime. ||

The faculty senate earlier this week rejectedattempts to control the appointment of key university administrators. The senate has refused to cooperate with the rector, who recently was appointed by the government, or to abide by any Ministry of Education directives that he tries to carry out. This rejection follows similar action by the faculty at the main university in Gdansk.

Faculty members are trying to defend university autonomyew higher education bill recently passed by parliament and scheduled to be implemented in September gives universities more authority to run their own affairs. Tho government nonetheless has threatened several times to close all or part of Warsaw On^/ersity if the senate refuses to be more cooperative.

Comment.- The regime probably hoped that the new education law would foster cooperation. The school's faculty, however, apparently doubts that the bill will be implemented and Is trying to avoid compromises that It may later regret. The-faculty's actions could,prompt the regime to make good on its threats to close tho school or to fire recalcitrant faculty members.

Faculty firings probably would cause studentin Warsaw and perhaps elsewhere. Closing the university might galvanize much of the country's academic communityonfrontation with the regime over the principle of academic freedom.

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