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07/14/2021 | Pressemitteilung

Two new vice presidents for the president-elect's team

The extended Senate of the University of Kassel today (July 14) elected Prof. Dr. Sonja Buckel as Vice President and Prof. Dr. Michael Wachendorf as Vice President. They will take office on October 1 and complete the team of the elected president Prof. Dr. Ute Clement. Prof. Dr. René Matzdorf remains in office as Vice President and Dr. Oliver Fromm as Chancellor.

Image: Andreas Fischer.
The future president Prof. Dr. Ute Clement (from left), Prof. Dr. Michael Wachendorf, Prof. Dr. Sonja Buckel and the current president Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey.

Sonja Buckel (51) succeeds current Vice President Clement, who moves to the position of president on Oct. 1. Buckel will thus be responsible for graduate funding, among other things. A political scientist and lawyer, she has headed the Department of Political Theory at the University of Kassel since 2013. She previously completed her habilitation at Goethe University in Frankfurt with a thesis on European migration law. She is still dean of the Department of Social Sciences until September.

Michael Wachendorf (58) has headed the Department of Grassland Science and Renewable Resources at the Witzenhausen site since 2004. Previously, he worked at the Institute of Crop Science and Plant Breeding at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel. He habilitated in 2002 on the topic of environmental and management effects on performance parameters and overwintering of white clover/grass mixtures. Wachendorf is also executive director of the university's Competence Center for Climate Protection and Adaptation (CliMA). He will be responsible for research in the future presidium and will take over the duties of Prof. Dr. Arno Ehresmann, who is leaving the presidium at the end of his second term.

Clement had campaigned for the election of Buckel and Wachendorf and thanked them for their willingness to work on the future of Kassel University in the presidium. "The world is developing tremendously fast, and the framework conditions for universities are also changing," Clement said, referring to digitization, societal changes and the task of contributing to a sustainable world worth living in. "We will also continue to develop and remain a university that offers educational opportunities for all and conducts research that is relevant to society. I look forward to tackling this task with you as a team."

Prof. Dr. Sonja Buckel commented, "Since its founding in 1971 as a reform university, the University of Kassel has stood for both emancipative educational processes and socially responsible research, for example in the area of sustainability. I am pleased, especially in this anniversary year, to be able to contribute to further developing the university in this direction together with all members of the university and the management team."

Prof. Dr. Michael Wachendorf said, "Research at our university is very diverse and very strong in many areas. Developing this strength further and making it visible nationally as well as internationally will be crucial for our profile as a research university as well as for success in the competition for the best. In addition to the university management responsibilities I will assume in this regard, I would like to provide new impetus for integrating research into teaching and qualification at all levels."

The acting president, Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey, thanked Ehresmann, who is leaving the presidium, for the numerous successful impulses he has given to the university's research profile over the past six years. "We have made good progress on our path to greater visibility in research. This is also to your credit and the success of your efforts." He added, "The future presidency under the leadership of Prof. Ute Clement has thus taken shape. I wish the President, the Chancellor, the Vice President and the two Vice Presidents good luck and success in their work from October."