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New TU Chemnitz Rector Elected

Extended Senate of the Technische Universität Chemnitz voted to elect political scientist Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier

Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier, who holds the Professorship of Governmental Systems in Europe in Comparison, was elected as the new Rector of the Technische Universität Chemnitz on June 14, 2016. 46 of the 51 members of the Extended Senate of the TU Chemnitz who are eligible to vote were present and cast 29 votes in favor of the political scientist in the first round of elections. Following Prof. Strohmeier’s inauguration, the exact date of which remains to be determined, he will be the 32nd Rector in the university’s 180-year history. Prof. Strohmeier was elected to a five year term after defeating his competition for the highest office of the university, Prof. Schubert. Prof. Schubert received 17 votes in the election. During the morning session, both candidates had the opportunity to introduce themselves and present their plans, goals and strategies for the upcoming term of office.

Until the official appointment of the new Rector by the Saxon State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts, the University Management will be represented by four members: alongside Acting Rector Prof. Dr. Andreas Schubert, this includes Vice-Rector for Teaching and Learning Prof. Dr. Christoph Fasbender, Vice-Rector for Research and Promotion of Young Scientists Prof. Dr. Heinrich Lang and Chancellor Eberhard Alles. Prof. Schubert, Vice-Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer in the last University Management, assumed the official duties of the Office of the Rector as of January 1, 2016 in a representative capacity. This became necessary as the previous Rector Prof. Arnold van Zyl was appointed President of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University in Stuttgart on February 1, 2016.

A few hours before his election, Prof. Strohmeier presented the cornerstones of his candidacy during the election hearing open to members of the university. He highlighted in particular the political dimension of the Office of the Rector within the context of his approach, which he presented under the motto: “Gestalten, nicht verwalten” (translation: Develop, don’t manage). According to Strohmeier, it is important to represent the interests of the TU in the long term and to actively develop university policy. “It is important that the TU Chemnitz obtains a perception and appreciation that are fitting for both the university and the surrounding region – no less than the growth center of industrialization, the cradle of mechanical engineering and a major economic factor in the Free State of Saxony,” said Strohmeier. Furthermore, he maintains that it is important to strengthen the TU Chemnitz’s competitiveness, build upon its anchoring in the region as well as promote international networking at the same time. In his “Agenda 2020”, he addressed additional points: He wants to accelerate interdisciplinary communication and interconnectedness at the university through the implementation of an innovative current research information system and thereby benefit from as many synergies as possible. One important concern of Strohmeier’s is ensuring high-quality teaching. To meet this goal, application of new teaching and learning forms is expected to be expanded in the future. Additionally, he hopes to enhance transparency at the TU Chemnitz, strengthen active participation in development and promote the exchange of ideas.

Profile: Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier

Gerd Strohmeier was born on April 22, 1975 in Simbach am Inn. After completing his training to become an industrial clerk and an editorial traineeship, he studied Political Science, Psychology and Sociology at the University of Passau. Afterwards, he completed his doctorate and habilitation at the University of Passau. Strohmeier was employed as a research assistant and private lecturer at the University of Passau as well as a contract teacher at the Universität der Bundeswehr München and the University of Salzburg. He completed numerous stays abroad for research and teaching at universities including Cambridge, Durham, Wroclaw and Cluj-Napoca. In February 2009, he was appointed to the Professorship of Governmental Systems in Europe in Comparison in the Faculty of Humanities at the TU Chemnitz, a position which he had already held in a representative capacity since 2008. From 2012 to 2015, he was the managing director of the Institute of Political Science. Strohmeier has been active as an expert advisor in many settings, for example in the German Bundestag and in the Saxon State Parliament, as well as internationally in the Parliaments of Austria and Myanmar. As a commissioned researcher as well as political advisor he has worked for the Federal Government of Germany, the State Government of Saxony and political associations. Moreover, he has been active as a journalist in many ways, including for Zeit, Spiegel Online, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Freie Presse, and has been a guest in the Federal Press Conference several times. His core research areas include political communication, governability, elections as well as security and defense policy. He has received many diverse fellowships, research grants and awards.

(Translation: Sarah Wilson)

Mario Steinebach

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