It was with great sadness that we learned that Professor Jerzy Dietl, the founder and long-term President of the Educational Enterprise Foundation, passed away on February 23, 2021 at the age of 94.
He was a great superior and mentor for his associates, a man with vast knowledge and erudition, tolerant and with invariably positive attitude to people and the world.
As a long-term leader of the Educational Enterprise Foundation he did his best to support young people’s development, foster the entrepreneurial spirit and point to the value of quality education. He was a teacher and best friend for many generations of young people.
Professor Dietl was an outstanding scholar with many academic achievements, respected academic teacher, civil leader and NGO founder, member and chairman of many organizations and scientific committees. He was engaged in opposition activities in the 1980s, and participated actively in political, social and economic transformation of Poland after 1989.
In the years 1947-1967 he was an assistant lecturer, then assistant professor, associate professor, head of a section, associate dean and dean at the Poznan Academy of Economics, where he got a PhD in 1958. In 1961 he obtained the degree of doctor with habilitation in economics at the Department of Commerce, Warsaw School of Economics. In 1967 he moved to Łódź, and started his career at University of Łódź. In 1971 he earned the rank of professor, and in 1978 – of full professor.
Until 1997 he held a position of the head of a department and an institute at the Faculty of Economics and Sociology, University of Łódź. He was the co-organizer of the Department of Management at the Faculty of Management at University of Lodz. He was a lecturer at that university till 2003. He was also a professor at Wyższa Szkoła Biznesu – National Louis University w Nowym Sączu, where he would give lectures on management in marketing. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Kozminski University.
In 1997 he was awarded with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa at Université Jean Moulin Lyon III, and in 2015 – at Koźmiński University.
He was one of the most eminent Polish economists. He was the author or co-author of over 500 publications, including a dozen of books and almost 100 articles in foreign periodicals. He presented his works at numerous domestic and international conferences. He specialized in agricultural market and generally marketing and management – he was the first scholar who popularized in Poland the approach of market orientation in companies. He researched also such areas as economic policy and structural changes in the period of transformation in Poland, as well as business education.
He cooperated with several U.S. and European universities and scientific societies which was reflected in numerous publication of his papers by foreign publishing houses. He was a visiting lecturer and conducted seminars at over 40 universities in Poland and Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Yugoslavia, Canada, Malesia, Germany, Romania, Sweden, Hungary, Great Britain, Italy and the United States of America.
He was a PhD supervisor to 29 doctoral theses, almost all of which have been published as books while most of their authors continued as scholars and achieved the rank of professor. He involved students in research work, especially those whose master theses he supervised – and there were over 300 of them.
He headed many research teams and was a member of scientific boards of institutes and foundations, and of the Polish Academy of Sciences committees. He was also a member of numerous Polish and foreign editorial boards of publishing houses and periodicals.
He was a member of the Board of Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission from 1991 to 1999, and of Polish Accreditation Commission from 2001 to 2005.
He was a member of many supervisory boards, including the Board of Directors of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund. He was the founder and the President (1997-2017) of Educational Enterprise Foundation in Łódź. He was a co-founder and the President of Łódź Economic Society, and the founder and Chairman of Foundation for Enterprise Development in Łódź (from 1990).
He was an active member of Polish political opposition – joined Solidarity in 1980, where was its expert and advisor. He participated in the Round Table Talks. He was a senator from 1989 to 1991 in the 1st term of the Senate of the Republic of Poland and represented it in many negotiations and conferences, mainly of international nature.
He was awarded with many orders and decorations, including the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and the Commander’s Cross with star of the Order of Polonia Restituta; medals and decorations of Polish and foreign universities, associations, Polish government offices; numerous scientific awards -mainly from university rectors and ministers in charge of research and science, and foundations, e.g. Citi Handlowy Leopold Kronenberg Foundation.
He loved history, travelling, and his garden.
We extend our profound sympathy to his Family and the Team of the Educational Enterprise Foundation.