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10/01/2021 | Pressemitteilung

New president Ute Clement takes office

Prof. Dr. Ute Clement takes office as President of the University of Kassel today (October 1). The vocational educator was elected at the end of January to succeed Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey, who did not stand for re-election.

The President introduces herself: Prof. Ute Clement's video message from October 5, 2021.


With her ambitious plans for teaching and research in the establishment of a focus on sustainability and transformation, but also for the further development of existing focal points in materials research or with the documenta Institute, exciting times lie ahead for the university, said Clement. She takes office on the 50th anniversary of the university, which began operations in October 1971. "It's a time to celebrate what has been achieved," she said. "The University of Kassel has developed wonderfully over the past 50 years and has made a name for itself for original and interdisciplinary research impulses, open teaching and relevance to society." 

For the fourth semester in pandemic times, the president announced that she would offer as much face-to-face teaching as the infection situation would allow. In the medium term, she said, the goal is to meaningfully combine face-to-face teaching with digital offerings. "This offers opportunities to study more efficiently and in a more diverse way, to combine studies and other tasks, and to provide educational opportunities for many. We're not starting from scratch on this." 

Clement had been vice president of the university since 2015 and was responsible for graduate support, among other things. She is the second woman to head the university in northern Hesse, after founding president Vera Rüdiger. She placed her presidency under the motto "Quality, Dialogue and Cohesion." 

Born in Wilhelmshaven, Clement studied education at the Fernuni Hagen and completed her doctorate and habilitation at the Technical University of Karlsruhe. She has held a professorship in vocational and business education in Kassel since 2003. Finkeldey congratulated his successor: "I have worked closely and trustingly with Prof. Clement on the Executive Board. I therefore know that I am leaving the office in good hands."

"Prof. Clement is taking over a university that is ideally positioned for research on current relevant issues, especially in environmental teaching and research. The university owes this in large part to Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey, whom I would like to sincerely thank for his work," explained Hesse's Minister of Science Angela Dorn. "I am delighted that with Prof. Clement there is now once again a woman at the helm of the university, but above all that thanks to her years of work as vice president she can get started immediately with her plans and ideas - in this I wish her every success and very much look forward to working with her in the future."

The leadership team is completed by Vice President Prof. Dr. Sonja Buckel and Vice President Prof. Dr. Michael Wachendorf, who were elected in the extended Senate on July 14, 2021. As Vice President, Prof. Dr. René Matzdorf continues to oversee, among other things, the subject of studies and teaching, and Dr. Oliver Fromm heads the university administration as Chancellor.

Note: On Oct. 29, 5 p.m., at the university's ceremony, Prof. Dr. Ute Clement will paint a picture of the future of Kassel University and the contributions it can make to meet a wide range of challenges. The event can be followed via a livestream on the website


Press contact:

Sebastian Mense
University of Kassel
Communications, Press and Public Relations
Phone: +49 561 804-1961
E-mail: presse[at]uni-kassel[dot]de