The University Council and Senate elected Anna Steiger as the new Chancellor, and Prof. Michael Liebendörfer as the new Vice Rector for Teaching and Continuing Education at the University of Stuttgart in a joint meeting that was open to members of the university and held at the university on July 11, 2023. "These appointments strengthen the University of Stuttgart and enable us to take the next steps on the way to ensuring a modern, agile and digital administration, as well as excellent teaching and continuing education with modern teaching and learning formats," commented Rector Prof. Wolfram Ressel on the election results. He and the other members of the Rectorate are looking forward to working with the new Chancellor and the new full-time Vice Rector.
Anna Steiger has been appointed as the new Head of Administration at the University of Stuttgart. The election, which was conducted separately by the University Council and the Senate, was won by the jurist, who is currently Vice Rector for Human Resources and Gender at the Vienna University of Technology. She was elected by a large majority for a term of six years.
Steiger, born in 1965, completed her studies in law, journalism, and political science at the University of Vienna in 1993 with a Magister degree. After working at a law firm, a management consultancy company and the legal department of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, she was employed as head of human resources and labor market policy at the Lower Austrian Volkshilfe. From 2003 to 2011, as Vice Rector for Personnel, Resources, and the Advancement of Women, she headed the administration department at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and was responsible for the personnel and financial budget. Since 2011, as Vice Rector for Human Resources and Gender at the Vienna University of Technology, her responsibilities have included human resources management, the personnel budget, the digitization of administration, and diversity management.
Steigers vocation: Inspiring and interest in science
After the election, Steiger referred to the University of Stuttgart's vision of "Intelligent Systems for a Sustainable Society." "For me, helping to implement this vision is an opportunity to establish visionary connections between science, research and society, and to position and strengthen the university and the Stuttgart region as (climate)modern, cosmopolitan and sustainable," said Steiger. "Being involved in this, and using my knowledge and all my enthusiasm to help shape the framework to continue to inspire people to get involved in science and research is not just a 'job' for me; it's a vocation. I am looking forward to being able to put my knowledge and experience as a university manager from Austria to good use at the University of Stuttgart."
Rector Ressel is also delighted about Steiger's election as the new chancellor: "With her experience as Vice Rector at Austria's largest technical university, Anna Steiger is absolutely capable of continuing the administrative restructuring that her predecessor Jan Gerken successfully started, and bringing in her own ideas. I look forward to working with the new chancellor, and being part of a collaborative effort that will see Central Administration supporting research and teaching at the University of Stuttgart even more efficiently in the future."
First full-time member of the rectorate for teaching and continuing education
Prof. Dr. Michael Liebendörfer has been elected Vice Rector for Teaching and Continuing Education at the University of Stuttgart. For the first time, this position will be filled on a full-time basis and for a period of six years. The separate elections by the University Council and the Senate were with a large majority in favor of the 39-year-old mathematician, who holds a PhD and is an expert in teaching and learning.
In addition to various academic positions at the universities of Kassel, Lüneburg, and Hanover, and as a teacher of lower and middle school mathematics and economics, Liebendörfer was a member of the executive management board of the joint Center of Excellence for Higher Mathematics Education (khdm) at the universities of Hanover, Kassel, and Paderborn from 2013 to 2018. In 2019, he was appointed as a junior professor in teaching and learning in mathematics, and in 2020, he was appointed Executive Director of the khdm. He has been Professor of Didactics of Mathematics at the University of Paderborn since 2022.
Liebendörfer: A pioneer for innovative education
Liebendörfer is delighted about his new role at the University of Stuttgart and said: "The University of Stuttgart trains the highly qualified experts that our society urgently needs. We offer young people excellent career opportunities. This mission requires that we always remain at the forefront of new developments. Digitalization, in particular, offers many opportunities to improve teaching, and we must take advantage of these to position our university as a leader in innovative education and provide the best possible support for our students."
Rector Ressel was delighted about the election result, and said, "Fifteen years after the transformation of the German Diplom and Magister degree programs into two-tier Bachelor's and Master's programs, the University of Stuttgart must continue to drive important advancements in teaching and explore new topics in order to remain attractive to prospective and current students. Michael Liebendörfer has extensive experience in teaching and learning, as well as in research on the development of excellent university teaching. This will aid the continuous development of our degree programs, anchor interdisciplinary issues such as sustainability, and further digitalize teaching. As the new Vice Rector, he will also shape and be responsible for our new continuing education concept." At the same time, Ressel thanked the previous Vice Rector, Prof. Frank Gießelmann, for his successful and dedicated work over the past two years.
It has not yet been determined when Steiger and Liebendörfer will take office at the University of Stuttgart.