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Sabine Kunst is the new HU president

Formal inauguration in the presence of Michael Müller and Sandra Scheeres

gruppenfoto inauguration web

Prof. Dr. Rolf Emmermann, Prof. Michael Seadle, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst, Prof. Dr. Jan-Hendrik Olbertz, Sandra Scheeres and Michael Müller (from left to right). Figure: Stephan Röhl

Prof Dr-Ing. Dr Sabine Kunst took office as president of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU) on Wednesday. The term of office will last five years. She thus takes over the presidency from Prof Dr Jan-Hendrik Olbertz, who had been in office since October 2010. The University Council elected Sabine Kunst as president in January 2016. She is the second woman to hold this position in the history of the HU.

Alongside members and students of the university, many representatives of science, politics and society took part in the inauguration ceremony in the university’s main auditorium. Prof Michael Seadle (PhD), Chairman of the Council, handed over the chain of office from Jan-Hendrik Olbertz to the new president.

Comments on the inauguration

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Sabine Kunst:

“I am delighted and it is a great honour for me to be able to enter the presidency of this university rich in tradition. I would like to thank the Council and the Board of Trustees of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for the trust they have placed in me; I look forward to beginning the work ahead. Together with the other Berlin universities and research institutions, I intend to further develop the research region of Berlin into an international hub of science. And I will do everything within my power to ensure the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin remains as excellent as it currently is – in every respect.”

Prof Dr Jan-Hendrik Olbertz:

“In view of my successor, I now leave office with confidence. Significant challenges await Sabine Kunst, yet she is able to build on a solid foundation. Her experience, her determination to bring about change and her communication skills will be of great benefit to the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. My hope is that the electors will stand by her and that she will gain the support of the committees with respect to far-reaching modernisation projects.  This is because, with her intellectual potential and her high sense of community, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has every chance to achieve renewed success in the context of the next excellence initiative – perhaps as part of an alliance of Berlin universities – and extend its reputation as a top international university.”

Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin:

“With Prof Kunst, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin has selected a renowned scientist and prominent research manager as president. Her many years of work in science and politics are an excellent basis upon which to further develop the reputation and performance of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in teaching and research and open up new perspectives. Berlin is committed to its universities. In an academic, cultural and economic sense, they play an indispensable part in the appeal and economic development of our city. I wish Sabine Kunst much success on her assumption of office.”

Sandra Scheeres, Senator for Education, Youth and Science of the State of Berlin:

“I am absolutely convinced that the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will greatly benefit from the multifaceted experience of Prof Kunst. Mrs Kunst has distinguished herself with reliability and assertiveness in science, academic administrative autonomy and high political offices, where she has also made a name for herself. I was delighted to hear about her candidacy and now all the more look forward to positive cooperation for the successful future of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.”

Further information

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