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Welcome and “Good-bye”

Investiture of the new president and farewell of the rector
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In a ceremonial act on Monday, 6 October 2014, the rector Prof. Dr. Klaus Dicke was bid farewell and the new president Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal was officially inaugurated. A number of high-profile guests from far and wide attended the investiture in the auditorium of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU). The well-attended event was accentuated by music. Among the guests were the minister-president Christine Lieberknecht and her deputy, the minister of science Christoph Matschie. After the greeting by the chairman of the University Council Dr. Josef Lange, Lieberknecht and Matschie emphasised the importance of the FSU in their speeches and stressed the necessity of an adequate financial funding of the University. Matschie renewed his promise to compensate for the increase in costs, with the additional 1 % increase. The minister-president called the FSU "the flagship among the Universities and institutions of higher education in Thuringia" - a credit which - according to her - also belongs to the departing rector Klaus Dicke. All speakers thanked Dicke for his commitment and his circumspection during his time as rector. 

Dicke, who will continue in his office until 15. October, titled his speech - which was as brilliant as usual - "Looking back ahead". Apart from acknowledging many colleagues, he couldn't be deterred from pointing out the remaining challenges - like the development of the Inselplatz - and to remind the politicians of their financial responsibilities: "In order to prevent severe damage to the performance of institutions of higher education in Germany, the federal states have to increase their basic financing with the support of the federal government significantly. The argument about the overhead has to be resolved, and not by 20 %, but by 40 %". He also warned: "In the development of higher education institutions as well as in the infrastructure, Thuringia is lagging behind in what is necessary with all creditable performances. Let me add: Germany urgently needs a higher education tax law to stop a large number of bureaucratic and fiscal absurdities. The energy expended in these should instead be focused on the process of science and teaching. The overriding vision is that higher education policy is the policy of the future."

Education for Freedom

Then he handed over the chain of office as a symbol of responsibility to Prof. Rosenthal. He put on the gown as "expression of respect of the history of this University, its tradition and its autonomy". In his inaugural address he presented the leading team, apart from the chancellor Dr. Klaus Bartholmé, the new vice president Prof. Dr. Iris Winkler and the vice presidents Prof. Dr. Thorsten Heinzel and Prof. Dr. Uwe Cantner. At the same time he explained his vision of his office and task and his principal goals. In his speech, entitled "Education for Freedom", he thanked his predecessor and emphasised: "The Friedrich Schiller University is well positioned and I am not arriving in Jena with a definite implementation concept in my luggage. I don't think developing concepts for the future is a task only confined to the president and the chair, but it concerns the whole community of the University." His goals which he will be working towards - or which he will preserve - can be summarised in six sentences:

  • The University has to have a conception of itself as a place of freedom.
  • The University embraces its responsibility for our society.
  • The Friedrich Schiller University is committed to the excellence in research and teaching.
  • The Friedrich Schiller University takes on the national and international competition.
  • The Friedrich Schiller University is the motor of a region of science and economy.
  • The Friedrich Schiller University needs adequate financial funding.

Finally he stressed the added value the Universities bring to the state and said: "Our University needs the diversity of disciplines." With this he invited all members of the University to join forces and embark on interdisciplinary discourse and the development of a profile.

A recording of the complete investiture can be found here, fotografic impressions here.

Meldung vom: 2014-10-09 11:46
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