On 18 May, about 170 invited guests from science, economy, and society celebrated the Universitätstag of the University of Mannheim in the Aula of the Schloss. In his speech, President Professor Dr. Thomas Puhl talked about the university’s success in securing external funding and its standing in international rankings, but also about current challenges the university must face.
Development of the University of Mannheim
Puhl said that the coronavirus crisis had submitted all aspects of university life, e.g., teaching, the promotion of early-stage researchers and campus life, to a stress test. Only because of the extraordinary efforts of teachers, researchers, and staff members, did the university have a successful year. “International rankings prove that we are still among the top ten percent of the best universities worldwide,” Puhl said. The fact that researchers were able to secure around 25 million euros in external funding showed just how much trust the funding institutions put in the university.
As a big objective for the next few years, Puhl mentioned that learning from the pandemic was a big objective for the next few years, for example by implementing a digital teaching strategy, as well as further promoting the university’s internationalization strategy. The European university ENGAGE.EU, which was founded two years ago, symbolized a solid and long-lasting foundation for reaching this goal. ENGAGE.EU is an alliance of seven of the leading European universities in Economic and Social Sciences. “This cooperation offers so much room for creative and interdisciplinary exchange, and new opportunities to greatly expand the teaching program,” the President commented.
He also said that sustainability was another focus in the university’s future and that appointing Professor Dr. Laura Marie Edinger-Schons as the first Vice President for Sustainability was a big step in this direction.
Dr. Kurt Bock is awarded the title of HonorarySsenator
At the event, Dr. Kurt Bock was awarded the title of Honorary Senator. Dr. Bock has been advocating for the university’s demands for many years – first as a university member and since 2011 as member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. He currently is chairman of the Supervisory Board of BASF SE.
In 2005, Dr. Bock became chairman of the Mannheim Business School (MBS) board of trustees. He also is a founding member of the association “Partner der Mannheimer Betriebswirtschaftslehre e.V.”, which evolved from the MBS board of trustees in 2012. He was the chairman of this association until the beginning of 2021 and still holds the title of Honorary Chairman. Dr. Bock has contributed greatly to the activities of the association and to the recruitment of new members and has had a shaping influence on the strategic development of the Mannheim Business School.
Furthermore, he was largely responsible for securing a generous, ten-year funding project in the context of the 150-year anniversary of BASF in 2015. This major donation enabled the University of Mannheim to support and establish important research institutions.