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OSW was established by the Minister of National Education on 15th May 1997. However, the process of its creation had been begun much earlier by the founder, Dr Józef Rusiecki. His research interests revolved around the issue of democratization of education, tasks of private education, the role of teacher and educator, shaping the youth in the spirit of humanism and tolerance. The idea of creating a school and a friendly team of educational institutions for student and teacher was the main point of Dr Rusiecki’s interest from the beginning of his career in research and teaching. In 1994 the private secondary school was established. Efforts to set up a university took effect in 1997.
The first inauguration of the academic year was in October of 1997, during which Rector Józef Rusiecki handed the first indexes to 60 students of the Faculty of Education. The first student to enter the Students Album under number 001 was Isabella Baranowska.
The most important directions of activities at the university took place between 1997 and 2000, but years later, this period of rapid continuation of plans and intentions of Dr Rusiecki was carried out by his wife Helena and daughter Agnieszka Sawicka.
O In addition to teaching activities, Dr Rusiecki developed the university’s research activities. The first scientific session “Man in the educational relations” was held just before the start of the second academic year – 11th September 1998. In early 1999, OSW released materials of the conference in their own publishing house.
The opening of the academic year 1998/1999 was associated with the launch of new specialties in the direction of teaching: animation, tourism and recreation and health promotion. Shortly after the start of the academic year OSW organized with the Academy of Agricuture and Technology in Olsztyn and the Polish Philosophical Society an international philosophical conference “Man and void”.
During the second year of operation approximately 1,000 students, including postgraduates, studied at OSW, and teaching and research staff consisted of 128 teachers.
Physical education and physiotherapy faculties were established. The dean was Dr. Jerzy Urniaż.
In October, the first issue of the periodical “Dialog” was published containing papers by the OSW academic community. The Department of Foreign Languages and the Tourist Club were also opened then.The scientific activity activated both academics and students beyond the current study programs, separate lectures, which hosted the best specialists in different fields of knowledge. In the year 1999/2000 6 scientific meetings took place on a national and international level. A new idea of giving names of patrons for lecture halls was established.
During the inauguration of the academic year, one of the lecture halls was given name of Pierre de Coubertaine. In the same year, another academic lecture halls were given the names of Aleksander Kaminski and Władysław Tatarkiewicz. Next floorsc were built within thearea of building “A”.
The end of 2000 was tragic for OSW. On 8 November , in a car accident, both Founder and Rector Józef Rusiecki and Vice-Rector Wieslaw Ciczkowski were killed. From then on the University has been successfully managed by Helena Rusiecka- the wife of the late Rector and their daughter Agnieszka Sawicka. On 7 December 2000 prof. Witold Tulibacki was appointed the new Rector and prof. Stanislaw Kawula, Vice-Rector. During the inauguration of the academic year 2001/2002 the university was given the name of dr. Józef Rusiecki.
In 2003/2004 the Department of Political Science was established . Another success was the launch of Bachelors Degree in Physical Education and Physiotherapy. Then Physiotherapy Department became an independent Faculty of Physiotherapy. The dean of the faculty was dr. Leonard Januszko. On 30 September 2005 the Ministry of Education granted the right to establish Teacher Training College of English.
The university’s authorities changed over time. Following the resignation of vice-rector prof.Stanisław Kawula, on 1 September 2002 prof. dr. hab. Henry Mizerek took the office, and then from 2004, prof. Henryk Kostyra. On January 13, 2006 Rector of Olsztyn School prof. Witold Tulibacki died. On Jan. 25 during an extraordinary sitting of the OSW Senate, prof. Henryk Kostyra was appointed Rector, and prof. Waldemar Żebrowski. became a Vice-Rector .
Every year, in May, the Faculty of Physiotherapy organizes scientific symposia – Olsztyn Physiotherapy Day, and on 26 May 2006 the Faculty of Public Health inaugurated its Scientific Symposium on Nutricosmetology.
The university offers a wide range of postgraduate courses. Every year 500-800 students enroll .
Other regular events organized by the university include the Patron Day – Feast of the University organized for the first time in March 2005. Student Council organizes the annual OSW student carnival, student welcome party and other student related ceremonies , while the university authorities and members of the OSW Scientific Circles ( established on 14 April 2005 ) take care of student scientific development by preparing conferences , symposia and lectures. Every year, OSW students go on summer and winter training and teaching camps and Tourism Fair in Berlin. OSW holds a yearly Make -up Championship , and March 19 is the most important event when the university celebrates the Day of OSW.
The inauguration of 2002/2003 academic year was combined with the opening of a new sports facility – a sports hall with an area of 850 m2. The inauguration of the next year brought the opening of the auditorium with 350 seats named after prof. Dr. hab. Wieslaw Ciczkowski. The rest of the building work concentrated on the creation of a sports and rehabilitation centre.
In spring 2004 Sports and Health Center was opened. Adam Sawicki was appointed the executive director. The Center includes modernly equipped rehabilitation labs, beauty salons, gym, sauna room, fitness room and the first in Olsztyn and, unique among Polish universities , two squash courts. The following year a stadium with artificial turf, tartan athletics track and lighting was built. In the autumn of 2005 building “E” was expanded by creating additional beauty salon and Physical Rehabilitation Center, Research Laboratory and Physiotherapy labs. In December 2005 yet another modern sports hall was opened.
Since the beginning of its existence, OSW Sports and Health Center has organized sports activities free of charge for children with disabilities.
In March 2001 the work of the Red Cross was initiated. The members of the circle organize first aid courses for students, blood donation campaigns. Since the beginning of OSW college students have worked as volunteers. Every year they help organize Special Olympics, participate in charity events. Every year around 1st of June a family feast in Jeziorany is organized by the student volunteers.
The university library was created initially based on a small collection of books, periodicals from private donors .Since then it has developed immensely. Now it offers over 50 000 works of academic interest.
Almost from the beginning, that is, since 1997, the library has offered students computers with free internet access. Since 2000 the library director has been Elżbieta Budnik.
During the opening speech of the third year of OSW, Józef Rusiecki outlined three basic tasks to be directly implemented at the University: creating the future through scientific-educational activity, inspiring creative style of work and educational enrichment of our academic community. Looking at OSW years of activity it is clearly seen that none of these ideas have been