On the night of Saturday to Sunday at the age of 79, professor Franciszek Ziejka, literary historian, professor of humanities, and former rector of the Jagiellonian University died in Krakow. On October 1, he was to receive the “Jagiellonian Laurel” for outstanding scientific achievements in the last five years.
Professor Franciszek Ziejka died from Saturday to Sunday night after a long and exhausting illness. “He was keenly interested in academic and cultural life until the end,” Adam Koprowski from the press office of the Jagiellonian University told the Polish Press Agency.
On October 1, the former rector of the Jagiellonian University and the chairman of the Social Committee for the Restoration of Krakow Monuments was to receive the “Jagiellonian Laurel” for outstanding scientific achievements in the last five years. On October 3, he would have been 80.
In the years 1999–2005 he was the rector of the Jagiellonian University
Franciszek Ziejka was born in Radłów in the Tarnów poviat. In the years 1958–1963 he studied Polish philology at the Jagiellonian University, and after graduating he began working at the Institute of Polish Philology of the Jagiellonian University. In 1971 he obtained a doctoral degree, defending a dissertation on the symbolism of Stanisław Wyspiański’s “Wedding”. In 1982, he obtained his habilitation on the basis of the work entitled “The Golden Legend of Polish Peasants”. Nine years later, he was awarded the title of professor of humanities and took the position of associate professor. In 1998 he became a full professor.
For many years, Ziejka was the head of the Department of Polish Literature of the 19th century at the Institute of Polish Studies of the Jagiellonian University. In the years 1990–1993 he was the dean of the Faculty of Philology of the Jagiellonian University, then for two terms the vice rector of the Jagiellonian University, while in the years 1999–2005 he was the rector of the Jagiellonian University.
For six years he chaired the College of Rectors of Universities in Krakow, and for three years he was the chairman of the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland. He was an active member of the Polish Academy of Learning. He chaired the Council of the National Museum in Krakow, was a member of, among others The Council of the Historical Museum of the City of Krakow and the Council of the Museum “Wawel Royal Castle”. For many years he represented the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences in the Association Bibliotheque Polonaise de Paris (Polish Library in Paris). He was a member of the Committee on Ethics in Science at the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Award Committee of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.
Professor Ziejka was awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta
He lectured over seven years at French universities (in Aix-en-Provence and Paris). He founded the first Polish language and culture course in the history of Portugal at the National University in Lisbon.
He was a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals. From 2005, he chaired the Social Committee for the Restoration of Krakow’s Monuments and the Council of the National Pantheon Foundation in Krakow.
Author of numerous publications, including many devoted to literature. He was awarded the honorary doctorate by five Polish universities. He has the honorary citizenship of Tarnów, Sanok and Radłów. He received numerous Polish and foreign decorations, incl. Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Gloria Artis Medal, Great Gold Cross for Merit to the Republic of Austria, Palmes Academiques, Ordre National du Merite, Legion of Honor (Chevalier), Mauthausen Pro meritis Cross, Grande Oficial da Ordem do Merito (Portugal), Great Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Professor Ziejka was widely liked by students and colleagues.
Main photo source: Andrzej Grygiel / PAP