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The Minister of Health speaks on the selection of the rector of the Medical University

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In a letter of April 25, the Minister of Health, Izabela Leszczyna, asked the University Electoral Commission of the Medical University of Warsaw to cancel the current proceedings regarding the election of the rector, as well as to the relevant university authorities to initiate a new procedure, including the election of a new composition of the university electoral commission and a new electoral college. in order to “ensure full objectivity of this choice” – we read on the WUM website. This is the result of the confusion surrounding two candidates: Prof. running for the position of rector. Agnieszka Cudnoch-Jędrzejewska and the current rector of the university, prof. Zbigniew Gaciong.

The head of the Ministry of Health called on the relevant university authorities to initiate a new procedure, including the election of a new composition of the university electoral commission and a new electoral college – in order to ensure full objectivity of this election.

In the justification, she indicated that “originally, two candidates were to participate in the election procedure for the rector of the Medical University of Warsaw. One candidate resigned, and as for the second candidate, there were circumstances that, in the opinion of the minister responsible for health, raise serious and justified doubts as to the possibility of continuing the procedure.” choice”.

Confusion at the Medical University

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Last week, the Rector of the Medical University of Warsaw, prof., running for another term. Zbigniew Gaciong imposed a disciplinary penalty on his rival in the election of prof. Agnieszka Cudnoch-Jędrzejewska and at the same time resigned from running.

After the conflict was publicized by the media, the Ministry of Health decided to investigate the matter, taking action “the aim of which is to verify the legal status regarding the elections for the position of rector of the Medical University of Warsaw.”

On Thursday, quotes from the position of the Ministry of Health were published on the WUM website. They indicated that on April 19, 2024, the candidate for rector was issued with a disciplinary penalty – a warning, and on April 22, 2024, the person punished filed an appeal against the penalty to the competent labor court. Moreover, on March 2, 2024, the WUM Bursar notified the relevant district prosecutor's office about the suspicion that the candidate had committed a crime.

Therefore, according to Minister Leszczyna, “it is not without significance that the election of the rector in the currently ongoing procedure would not guarantee the correctness of the choice in the event of a negative decision of the competent courts. This would lead to the expiration of the rector's mandate by operation of law,” added the minister, citing the provisions the Law on Higher Education, according to which a person punished with a disciplinary penalty cannot hold the position of rector.

Leszczyna stated that – taking into account the good of the university and its future – canceling the current procedure for the election of the rector “will prevent the rector's mandate from expiring by operation of law during the term of office.”

In her opinion, next, the relevant WUM authorities should take action to initiate a new procedure for selecting the rector, such as selecting a new university electoral commission and a new electoral college, so as to ensure “full objectivity”.

He imposed a penalty on his opponent

On Friday, the Rector of the Medical University of Warsaw, prof. Zbigniew Gaciong – himself a candidate for the next term – announced that he had imposed on prof. Agnieszka Cudnoch-Jędrzejewska, his rival in these elections, disciplinary penalty in connection with “violation of the dignity of the profession of an academic teacher”.

“In connection with the findings of the anti-mobbing commission, supported by external legal expertise, I decided to punish Professor Agnieszka Cudnoch-Jędrzejewska with a disciplinary penalty of warning for a disciplinary offense consisting in violating the dignity of the profession of an academic teacher,” the rector wrote in a statement.

Prof. Gaciong and prof. Cudnoch-JędrzejewskaWarsaw Medical University

He also informed that his opponent lost the right to run for the position of rector of the Medical University of Warsaw. He also resigned from running.

In response, prof. Cudnoch-Jędrzejewska wrote in a statement that she had not lost the right to run for the position of rector. She emphasized that the disciplinary penalty could become the basis for depriving her of the right to run as a candidate only after it becomes final – “which has not happened so far.” “I have the right to appeal against the illegally imposed warning to a common court, which I will do,” she announced. She also informed that she had not been asked for an explanation or heard from the rector before imposing the penalty.

Main photo source: Warsaw Medical University



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