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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Polish Scholar and Journalist Andrzej Wilk Visits UCM

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 7, 2016) – Satisfying his curiosity about American higher education, Andrzej Wilk, Ph.D., a professor of management and international relations and journalist from Poland, recently completed a week-long visit to the UCM campus.

During his visit to campus, Wilk was hosted by the Office of Alumni and Development, the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, and The Honors College and International Affairs. He came to UCM prepared not only to speak to students and faculty about his own research and experiences in international business and government, but also to learn about the cooperative partnerships between UCM and business.

Dr. Wilk class lecture
Polish educator and journalist Andrzej Wilk was guest lecturer in several UCM classes during his visit to campus.

Wilk visited classes in Department of Political Science and The Honors College and International Affairs during his visit, where he discussed topics such as democracy and nationalism in central Europe and the problems of the European Union. He also took the opportunity to meet members of the community as a visitor to the Warrensburg Rotary Club and attend a UCM Mules football game. However, his primary interest was interaction with UCM students.

“I wanted to test my theories about and get feedback from American students,” he said. “I’ve been pleased by the level of preparation provided to American students. They are very competent and businesslike.”

Wilk noted the interest shown by American students in studying abroad in Poland, although other countries, such and France and Great Britain, might provide more diverse and interesting opportunities.

“Poland is still transferring from a central government to a market economy, and there have been some problems with that transformation,” he said. “There is a strong interest in Poland to host American students and the development of cooperative projects. The Polish government is interested in the American business models.”

He added that Poland is pro-American, with many Polish residents having relatives in America.

“Higher education is the most powerful tool that the U.S. has,” he said. “Students from all over the world come to the U.S. for higher education. The U.S. campuses are more technologically advanced than those in Eastern Europe, and many of our campuses are fairly new, having been developed in just the last few decades. We encourage Polish students to learn English—it’s a useful tool for business and education and the acquisition of knowledge.”

Wilk referenced his longtime friendship with UCM alumnus and educator Wayne Payne, who made Wilk’s recent trip to UCM possible. He noted that his friendship with Payne also made possible his first trip to UCM 21 years ago.

“Wayne told me during that trip that this campus would be changed when I returned, and it is,” Wilk said. “The Friendship Tower and the many new buildings, along with the overall beauty of the campus and the expansion around it, are impressive.”

Throughout his varied careers as professor of management and freelance journalist, Wilk has had the opportunity to work for the Polish government and the United Nations, where he worked for the negotiations section of the secretariat of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization. His study of international relations has led to his interest in the impact of technology on communication in international relations.

“Before, the ambassadors were important to the development of relationships between countries and their governments,” he said. “They conveyed important information between their leaders. Now political leaders simply communicate between themselves with technology, making the role of the ambassador seem less important.”
He added that research on these changes in how information is exchanged between governments is important, and students need to be fully aware of what tools are needed to facilitate those relationships.

“I’ve learned on this trip that American students are internationally oriented and willing to travel abroad, even to Poland,” Wilk said. “I’ve also noticed that UCM, 21 years after my first visit, seems to be closer ideologically than we were then. We are having similar conversations, reading the same books and talking about similar problems.”

"Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Wayne Payne, our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the Warrensburg community, were able to learn a great deal about the global world in which we all live and work,” said Joseph Lewandowski, dean of The Honors College and International Affairs. “It has indeed been an honor and privilege to host Dr. Wilk, and we look forward to pursuing new avenues of cooperation, including student and faculty exchanges, with him and his colleagues in Warsaw."