Poland – Poland has not been spared the somewhat totalitarian drift of Western liberalism, including – or perhaps even especially – in universities. Is it because Polish universities are, along with the judiciary, one of those sectors that had never really been reformed after the transition from communist dictatorship to parliamentary democracy and a market economy in 1989–90? In any case, while conservative views are shared by a majority in Polish society as a whole, progressive, left-wing, and even neo-Marxist views dominate at the university level, and it is no longer uncommon to see academics punished for saying things that would have seemed completely normal only a decade or two ago.
For example, a sociologist at the University of Silesia in Katowice was reprimanded after a lengthy disciplinary procedure following a complaint by students, after giving a lecture on the family as perceived by the Christian religion. The lecture was part of a course on “Intergenerational Connections in World Families”. What had scandalized some of the students was the fact that their professor had referred to the human being in the prenatal phase as a “child”, and that she had identified the family as the natural basic unit of society and as being founded on the union of a man and a woman. This actually corresponds to the definition of marriage in the Polish constitution.
Some far-left students therefore felt that Professor Ewa Budzyńska had tried to impose on her students “anti-choice ideology, homophobic views, antisemitism, denominational discrimination, and information not in line with current scientific knowledge, while promoting radical Catholic views.” The “Disciplinary Ombudsman” of the University of Silesia initiated proceedings against the teacher, which resulted, as mentioned above, in a reprimand, confirmed by the institution’s disciplinary committee in March.