On April 14, 2008, Jacobs University officially bade farewell to Prof. Dr. Theodor Berchem, who has been active in the university’s Board of Governors since 2003, heading it as chair from 2005 to 2007. New chair since January 2008 is Prof. Dr. Karin Lochte, Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven.
“I am grateful for Theodor Berchem's excellent work as the chair of our board. With his long-standing experience as one of the most prominent representatives of German higher education politics – for instance as president of both, the German Rectors' Conference and the German Academic Exchange Service – he provided optimal support during Jacobs University’s set-up phase,” Joachim Treusch, President of Jacobs University, said on the occasion of Berchem’s farewell dinner. “At the same time I am very happy that we could win over Karin Lochte as successor. With her superb contacts within the science and research landscape in Germany and abroad and her expertise in oceanography and climate research she will be an ideal advisor for the further development of Jacobs University’s scientific profile,” Treusch continued.
“Jacobs University is an innovative university model, which provides many important and stimulating impulses to Germany’s system of higher education. As the new chair of the board I’d like to support the university’s further development to the best of my abilities,” comments Karin Lochte on her new office. Of special importance to her are basic decisions about the optimum balance between research and teaching as well as the further carefully targeted advancement of the university’s research foci.
The Board of Governors is the central advisory and decision-making panel, responsible for all the basic as well as the strategic issues of the university’s development, including the appointment of the president and the professors. Jacobs University’s Board of Governors includes leading representatives from national and international academia as well as business.
Karin Lochte assumed her director’s position at the Alfred Wegener Institute in November 2007. Before that she headed the departments of biological oceanography at the Leibnitz Institute for Marine Science at the University of Kiel for seven years and at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research in Warnemünde from 1995 – 2000. Lochte has been active in numerous national and international scientific and political boards and panels for over 15 years, amongst them the German Science and Humanities Council (since 2004) as well as the appropriations committee of the German Excellence initiative (since 2006). She held professorships at the universities of Kiel and Rostock and captained several large oceanographic expeditions.
Theodor Berchem was professor of roman philology for several decades at the University of Würzburg and from 1976-2003 he also was the university’s president. From 1988 to 2007 he was president of the German Academic Exchange Service; being first vice president and later president of the German Rectors’ Conference, he was actively involved from 1979-1987 in the west-German higher education system. Berchem received many high ranking awards, amongst the 14 honorary doctorates and the Great Cross of Merit with star German Federal Republic.
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