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Abstract

This paper examines highly paid academics – or “top earners” – employed across universities in ten European countries based on a large-scale international survey data of the academic profession. It examines the relationships between salaries and academic behaviors and productivity, as well as the predictors of being an academic top earner. While in the Anglo-Saxon countries the university research mission traditionally pays off at an individual level, in Continental Europe it pays off only in combination with administrative and related duties. Seeking future financial rewards through research does not seem to be a viable strategy in Europe – but seeking satisfaction in research through solving research puzzles is also getting difficult, with the growing emphasis on “relevance” and “applicability” of research. Thus both the traditional “investment motivation” and “consumption motivation” for research are ever-harder to be followed, with policy implications. The primary data come from 8,466 usable cases. This paper examines change processes in Western Europe and in Poland (in a European context) and its main reference point is American higher education scholarship; it is, on the theoretical plane, the founder of the conceptual frameworks to study academic salaries, and, in practical terms, the US science systems heavily draws on European scientific talents.
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Abstract

The article discusses the issues of values and social responsibility of universities. On the one hand, the foundations of functioning of universities, which are created by research and education and the role of universities in formation, are recalled. On the other hand, it was reminded that the heart of universities, their DNA, are academic values, defined primarily in the Magna Charta Universitatum, but also in many other documents, such as the Code of Values of the Jagiellonian University. Hence, universities are increasingly often referred to not only as universities of knowledge, but also as universities of wisdom. Together, they are the basis for the social responsibility of universities. However, they alone are not enough for this social responsibility to materialise. Appropriate behaviour and actions are essential. Because knowledge alone is not everything. Such actions are always necessary, but especially when we find ourselves, as a country, humanity and a planet, in a crisis situation related to the climate disaster, which we are already partially experiencing. After the presentation of the most important current facts related to the climate and environmental crisis, the tasks to be undertaken urgently in this context by universities were presented, from broadly understood education, through convincing politicians to ambitious and quick actions, to intensive work on innovative solutions that can contribute to reducing threats brought by the climate and environmental crisis, pointing out, among others, the initiatives proposed by the newly created network of universities U7.
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