New NCU Rector elected

Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Sokala has been elected as the Rector of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń for the term 2020-2024.

The official voting was held on 12 March 2020 in Toruń. Prof. Andrzej Sokala was the only candidate nominated for the post. 199 electors were present: 181 voted for, 10 voted against, and 5 abstained; 3 votes were invalid.

Prof. Andrzej Sokala has been serving as the Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Staff Management for the last two terms of office.

BIO

Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Jan Sokala was born on 12 May 1955 in Kamienica Polska near Częstochowa. In the years 1974-1978, he studied law at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and graduated with top results. After graduating, he worked for the National Bank of Poland, and then for the Conglomerate of State Agricultural Enterprises in Wysoka. In the years 1980-1981, he completed legal training in the Provincial Court in Bydgoszcz and passed the judge’s exam with excellent results.

In 1981, he was employed at the Department of Roman Law at NCU in Toruń. In 1989, he was awarded the degree of doctor of juridical science, in 1999 – the title of habilitated doctor of juridical science, and in 2011 – the title of professor of juridical science conferred upon him by the President of the Republic of Poland. He is currently the head of the Department of Roman Law, History of Law and Political Systems (since 2000) and of the Centre for Electoral Studies (since 2008).

Professor Sokala has considerable organisational experience. He served as the vice-dean (for two terms, 2000-2005) and then dean (also for two terms, 2005-2012) of the Faculty of Law and Administration at NCU in Toruń. He also briefly served as the head of the Department of Canon Law (in 2000). He is the current Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and staff Management at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń.

He supervised eight doctoral students and about 230 Master’s and Bachelor’s degree students of law, administration and European studies. He also reviewed numerous dissertations and studies of future doctors, habilitated doctors and professors. For his educational contribution, he received a Medal of the National Education Commission, awarded by the Minister of Science and Higher Education in 2005.

Professor Sokala is a member of several scientific associations. In the previous term of office (2011-2015), he was elected as a member of the Committee on Ancient Culture of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He completed scientific internship programs in Rome, Padova and Perugia.

He currently closely cooperates with the National Electoral Commission, the National Electoral Office, the Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Parliament Information Office in Poland. In May 2000, he was awarded by the President of Poland with the Gold Cross of Merit for “contribution to the democratisation of electoral law and elections held”.

It is worth noting that Professor Sokala was appointed to important state authorities of the Republic of Poland. In December 2003, the Polish Sejm appointed him as a judge of the State Tribunal, and in October 2005 – a judge of the Constitutional Tribunal.

Professor Sokala is married and has three children. His hobbies are tourism and mountain climbing (he climbed the Matterhorn, among other places). He collects old postcards related to Tatra Mountains. He is a fan of blues and blues-rock (favourite band: ZZ Top). He is interested in abstract art (favourite artist: Henryk Stażewski) and sports (especially women's tennis and speedway).