ItemChanging Higher Education Policies: From the Deinstitutionalization to the Reinstitutionalization of the Research Mission in Polish Universities (CPP RPS 33/2012)(Center for Public Policy Research Papers Series, 2012) Kwiek, MarekThe paper analyzes changing higher education policies in Poland in the last two decades. It argues that top Polish public universities became divided institutions, with different individual academic and institutional trajectories in the academic fields in which educational expansion occurred (social sciences) and in fields in which it was much less pronounced (natural sciences). Using the concepts drawn from new institutionalism in organizational studies, the paper views the 1990s as the period of the deinstitutionalization of traditional academic rules and norms in public universities, with growing uncertainty about the core of the academic identity. The empirical data studied include internationally visible publications and research-related academic promotions in different academic fields, changing over time. In the expansion era (1990-2005), prestigious public research universities became excessively teaching-oriented; in the period of educational contraction, their currently teaching-oriented segments are expected to become research-intensive. The new legislation grounded in an instrumental view of higher education is interpreted as a return to a traditional academic normative consensus, with increased emphasis on, and funding for, the research mission.