The University of Stuttgart's Senate elected one female and three male Vice Rectors during a public meeting of the Senate on 21.07.2021. They will hold office for the second half of University Rector Prof. Wolfram Ressel's third term as Rector. The new Vice Rector for Research and Early Career Researchers will be Prof. Manfred Bischoff, Head of the Institute for Structural Mechanics (IBB); the new Vice Rector for Teaching and Continuing Education will be Prof. Frank Gießelmann, Head of the Institute of Physical Chemistry (IPC); and the new Vice Rector for Diversity and International Affairs will be Prof. Silke Wieprecht, professor at the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems (IWS). It was also confirmed that Prof. Peter Middendorf, Head of the Institute of Aircraft Design (IFB), would hold the office of Vice Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer for a further three years.
Prof. Wolfram Ressel, Rector at the University of Stuttgart, thanked the retiring Vice Rectors Prof. Monilola Olayioye, Prof. Jan Knippers and Prof. Hansgeorg Binz, as well as the re-elected Vice Rector Prof. Peter Middendorf for their committed and valuable work over the past years. In their respective areas of responsibility, the Vice Rectors made a significant contribution to ensuring that the challenges of the past three Corona semesters were tackled successfully and with a passion and commitment to continuing research and teaching operations at the university. He also expressed satisfaction that the senate followed his proposal for the new Rectorate team and said: "This election result will strengthen us for the future. We can now embark on the road ahead with great confidence and competence, a road that will lead us back to university-based on-site teaching, whilst also integrating the advantages of digital teaching. Furthermore, it is also time to rise to the challenges of the highly competitive world of research. We will be taking this opportunity to embark upon the upcoming round of calls for proposals, part of the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments, with dynamism and strategic orientation. We will also be focusing on increasingly important interdisciplinary topics, such as diversity, internationalization, the communication of science by recruiting young talent, start-up culture and continuing education, and even sustainability and climate neutrality. In accordance with the vision of the University of Stuttgart, we will help shape a sustainable society in an international context."
Prof. Manfred Bischoff: "Achieving success in the next round of the Excellence Strategy."
Following his election as Vice Rector for Research and Early Career Researchers, Prof. Manfred Bischoff, PI in the Cluster of Excellence SimTech, said: "I accept the tasks involved in the role of Vice Rector for Research and Early Career Researchers with a great deal of respect and the awareness that of the great responsibility that his role entails. One of the most important goals we will pursue together is, of course, achieving success in the next round of the Excellence Strategy. I consider the coordination of the related structural measures, and the consideration of the effects that these will have at all levels of the university, to be a central task of the office of Vice Rector. Transparence, integrity and cooperation in the spirit of the Stuttgart Way are important guiding principles. The overarching goal of our university research is the gathering of scientific knowledge, knowledge that is useful to people, and the creation of optimum conditions for young scientists, who represent the University of Stuttgart's most important contribution to a sustainable society."
Prof. Frank Gießelmann: "Ensuring a responsible return to on-site teaching"
The newly elected Vice Rector for Teaching Prof. Frank Gießelmann, emphasized: "The most pressing challenge we will face in the near future will be ensuring a responsible return to on-site teaching, without losing sight of the opportunities offered by digitally supported teaching formats. In addition, all the challenges that we were facing even before the pandemic remain today, such as attracting as many talented students to our university as possible and supporting them in the best possible way and ensuring their academic success. We must also find the correct response to our students' increasingly diverse educational biographies and, last but not least, we must continue to develop our study and continuing education programs."
Prof. Silke Wieprecht: "Our intelligence is based on this wealth of diversity"
Following the election, the new Vice Rector for Diversity and International Affairs, Prof. Silke Wieprecht, emphasized: "The scope of responsibility of my future position as Vice Rector is of particular personal importance, and I will put all my expertise and energy into successfully fulfilling this role. The University of Stuttgart is a place where people from different cultures, with diverse personal biographies and from different disciplines can come together. This is a valuable gem, and we must bring out the best in this, because our intelligence is based on this wealth of diversity. On our way to becoming a leading international research university, it is paramount that our teaching and scientific training programs become even more competitive internationally. This includes the global expansion of our strategic partnerships."
Prof. Peter Middendorf: "Expand the necessary structures at the University of Stuttgart"
Following the confirmation that he would retain the office of Vice Rector for Knowledge and Technology Transfer, Prof. Peter Middendorf said: "Over the last three years, we have initiated important projects within the scope of my role as Vice Rector, and further developed our profile as a research university that is particularly strong in terms of transfer. Examples of this include the revision of our transfer strategy, the significant improvement in terms of our ranking in the important start-up radar ranking, the procurement of the EXIST potentials funding line to strengthen start-up culture, and the expansion of the Mobility of the Future innovation campus. It is of paramount importance that we remain on this successful path and that we expand the necessary structures at the University of Stuttgart. A key aspect of this is the Transfer Center, which will be one of the main focuses of my second term in office. With this, we aim to position the university for success in the area of knowledge and technology transfer for the next round of the Excellence Strategy."
Term of office for the new university will begin on October 1, 2021
The Vice Rectors were elected by a large majority for a three-year term. The term of office for the new university management will begin on October 1, 2021. Prof. Frank Gießelmann, who served as Vice Rector for Teaching at the University of Stuttgart from 2009 to 2012, will take over this office once again for the transitional phase, until the implementation of the planned transition of the previously part-time Vice Rector position into a full-time role as Vice Rector for Teaching and Continuing Education has been completed.
The full-time Vice Rector Dr. Simone Rehm, was already confirmed in office for a further six years during the joint public meeting of the University Council and Senate on July 14, 2021: Dr. Simone Rehm re-elected as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the University of Stuttgart | press release | 15.07.2021 | University of Stuttgart (uni-stuttgart.de)