University of Rochester

Architect of Polish Economic Reforms Gets Professorship

December 22, 2000

Grzegorz W. Kolodko, deputy prime minister and minister of finance in Poland from 1994-97 and a key architect of that country's economic reforms, has been appointed the John C. Evans Visiting Professor in Polish and European Studies at the University of Rochester.

Kolodko, a leading expert on post-communist transitions to a market economy and democracy, taught at the University this fall and will return for the next two academic years in the fall semesters. He is the author of two recent books on the economics and politics of post-communist transformations.

"Professor Kolodko was a leader of one of the great economic transformations in the late 20th century," said Thomas L. LeBlanc, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the College Faculty. "What an opportunity it is to have him here."

The professorship is named for John C. Evans, an alumnus who has been a strong University supporter through gifts that bring people of different cultures together. He is president of Velmex, a maker of precision slides, and for 15 years taught at the University's Institute of Optics.

During fall semesters, Kolodko will teach courses at the University's Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies and the Department of Political Science. He also is professor at the Warsaw School of Economics and serves as director of TIGER (Transition, Integration and Globalization Economic Research) at the Leon Kozminski Academy of Entrepreneurship and Management in Warsaw, Poland.

The University of Rochester Press just released Kolodko's latest book, Post-Communist Transition: The Thorny Road. In it, he deals with the historical endeavor to change economic systems after the fall of communism. It is the first book in the new Rochester Studies in Central Europe series, edited by Ewa Hauser, director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies.

Oxford University Press published From Shock to Therapy: The Political Economy of Postsocialist Transformations by Kolodko earlier this year. Kolodko, who earned a doctorate from the Warsaw School of Economics, has been an advisor to European governments on economic matters, and is a consultant to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. His current research deals with issues of globalization and how to assist countries that are converts to capitalism.