31. May 2021

“The ideal individual“ Michael Hoch again named “Rector of the Year” by DHV members

Michael Hoch again named “Rector of the Year” by DHV members

University of Bonn Rector Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch has for a second time been named “Rector of the Year” by the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV) for his exemplary performance in office. The distinction was awarded on the basis of an online survey of the Association’s 33,000 members. The awarding was announced today at the German Academics Gala organized by the DHV and Deutsche Universitätsstiftung, conducted online due to the pandemic.

Rector of the Year
Rector of the Year - Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch © Photo: Gregor Hübl/Uni Bonn
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Professor Hoch earned the highest score of 1.51, exceeding last year’s score of 1.55 given by Bonn-based DHV members, which already earned him the same distinction last year. Sixty-nine percent of those surveyed said they believed last year’s winner is currently “the ideal individual” for the leadership role. Hoch’s “leadership” and “innovative capability” were cited along with his “excellent communication ability” and “personal empathy”. The German Association of University Professors and Lecturers awarded this distinction in the form of a prize funded by Santander Universities in recognition of exemplary performance of office.

The recipient intends to contribute the 10,000 euros awarded to a faculty-student project to be designed in dialogue with the General Students’ Committee (AStA) and the student councils. The Rector will be taking this established approach to work out concepts for improving the student experience of returning to or commencing studies at the University. The global pandemic has had major impact on first-semester students, many of whom have never even been inside a lecture hall or library yet. A range of innovative events and offerings are to be held to make the transition easier for students and support them, as we look forward to a general relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions at the earliest possible point.

For the ranking of rectors academics were surveyed as to who in their opinion is a suitable individual for holding the office in question as organizational leader of the university. Survey participants had opportunity to assign a school grade-type evaluation in a scheme of six choices ranging from “ideal individual” (grade 1, best) to “worst possible individual” (grade 6, worst). Nearly three-quarters of survey participants indicated they have a mostly positive opinion of their own current university head. More than a quarter of survey participants (28%) said they view their current rector as the “ideal individual” for the job. In Bonn specifically it was the case that over two thirds of those surveyed (69.1%) gave current Rector Hoch top marks.

The new rector of the University of Mannheim, Professor Thomas Puhl, came in just a hair behind Hoch, scoring 1.53. The rector of the University of Hohenheim, 2016 winner Professor Stephan Dabbert, took third place with a score of 1.57, while Professor Ulrich Rüdiger, rector of RWTH Aachen University, ranked fourth at 1.76. The rector of TU Dortmund University, Professor Manfred Bayer, was fifth at a mark of 1.79.

The average mark of 2.61 awarded for all rectors in the survey means that Germany’s university heads are generally found to be “good”. The ZEM survey evaluation did not indicate any correlation between the rector scores and the universities’ respective corona responses. The survey exclusively included university leaders who have been in office for a minimum of 100 days and received a minimum of 30 participant scores. The ranking was professionally conducted with 56 different universities by the University of Bonn Evaluation and Methodology Center ZEM.

For the detailed results see the March issue of research/teaching magazine “Forschung & Lehre”, or follow this link: https://www.hochschulverband.de/fileadmin/redaktion/download/pdf/presse/ranking-dhv_2021.pdf.

Commenting on the award, Rector Hoch was clearly pleased and moved: “This being a challenging time for all of us, I am all the more grateful for this award, which lets me know there is great support for my work. I would like to most sincerely thank everyone here at the University for the continuing great confidence in me expressed by this distinction − which I am most honored to receive for a second time. We will keep working full force to cultivate excellence at the University of Bonn and further consolidate on our already strong position and reputation in an environment of ever-intensifying global competition.”

Professor Dieter Engels, Chair of the University of Bonn University Council, congratulated Professor Hoch on his repeat win: “The confidence the University of Bonn has in its rector is clearly apparent in view of the re-awarding of the ‘Rector of the Year’ distinction. Such broad approval indicates that the office of the Rectorate is in a good position under Professor Hoch to successfully meet the considerable challenges that lie ahead.”

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