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Five members elected to the University of Cologne’s new Rectorate

Alongside the new Rector, Professor Dr Joybrato Mukherjee, six Vice-Rectors as well as the Chancellor will be part of the new Rectorate that takes office on 1 October / For the first time, there will be Vice-Rectorates for the areas Transfer and Sustainability

On 20 September, the University Election Assembly, which consists in equal parts of members of the Senate and members of the University Council of the University of Cologne, elected five members to the new Rectorate. Professor Dr Joybrato Mukherjee, who will take over the office of Rector from Professor Dr Axel Freimuth, was already elected on 10 May. The terms of office of the Rector and the newly elected Vice-Rectors will thus begin on 1 October 2023.

Those newly elected were: the ophthalmologist Professor Dr Claus Cursiefen (Vice-Rector for Research), the psychologist Professor Dr Susanne Zank (Vice-Rector for Anti-Discrimination and Equal Opportunities), the biochemist Professor Dr Ines Neundorf (Vice-Rector for Academic Career and Staff Development), the economist Professor Dr Werner Reinartz (Vice-Rector for Transfer to Society) and the jurist Professor Dr Kirk W. Junker (Vice-Rector for Sustainable Development). Professor Dr Beatrix Busse, anglicist und full-time Vice-Rector for Teaching and Studies, and Chancellor Karsten Gerlof were not up for election and will continue to serve in the Rectorate.

Rector Professor Dr Axel Freimuth said: “The new Rectorate brings together distinguished experts from a wide range of academic disciplines. They are uniquely qualified to successfully lead the university in the future. I wish them all the best in addressing the tasks that lie ahead and would like to thank all members of the current Rectorate for their outstanding work.”

Rector-elect Professor Dr Joybrato Mukherjee added: “We will continue the successful work of the Rectorate, i.e. within the framework of the current Excellence Strategy competition, and at the same time tackle new challenges: for example, in the newly created Vice-Rectorates for Sustainable Development and Transfer to Society. I look forward to working not only with my colleagues in the Rectorate, but also with all other members of the university.”

The election was prepared by a search committee with equal representation, consisting of four members of the University Council and four members of the Senate. When proposing the candidates, both the outgoing and the incoming Rectors consulted and then submitted a shortlist to the search committee. The search committee then proposed the candidates to the University Electoral Assembly for election on 20 September after presentations from each candidate. The ballot was secret and held separately for each Vice-Rector.

Press spokesperson:
Jürgen Rees
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