30. September 2020 Inauguration of University President Simone Fulda

Professor Dr med. Simone Fulda is the new President of Kiel University (CAU).

Today, 1 October, the 52-year-old medical doctor officially commenced her duties, after being elected by the Academic University Senate on 24 June. The term of office lasts six years. As President, Simone Fulda will represent the university and manage day-to-day operations.


The academic ceremony in the Audimax, which was restricted due to the coronavirus pandemic to around a hundred guests from science, business, politics, administration and the university, was led by the Chairperson of the CAU Academic University Senate, Professor Wolfgang J. Duschl. The public was invited to watch the event via a live stream. In his opening speech, Duschl thanked the previous University Board under President Professor Lutz Kipp and the Vice Presidents Professor Ilka Parchmann, Professor Anja Pistor-Hatam and Professor Karin Schwarz. Since the end of their regular term of office in June, they have served on the interim University Board, alongside Chancellor Claudia Ricarda Meyer. "They also overcame the particular challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic in an especially impressive way and, together with all institutions, implemented a digital summer semester from one day to the next. Under the circumstances, they did an excellent job!" said Duschl.

The welcome speeches were delivered by the Mayor of the state capital Kiel, Dr Ulf Kämpfer, as well as the Chairpersons of the General Student Committee (AStA) at Kiel University, Julia Schmidtke and Johnny Schwausch. Minister President Daniel Gunther and the presidents of international universities also sent greetings via video messages.

Dr Ulf Kämpfer: "I would like to warmly congratulate Professor Fulda on her election, and am looking forward to working with her, to continue the trusting and successful cooperation between the CAU and the City of Kiel. A key area for cooperation in the coming years will certainly be the development of the Kiel.Science.City project, that aims to transform the university campus into a lively urban district in which we combine research, business, life and work.
I am particularly delighted about Professor Fulda's announcement that she intends to boost the international visibility of the CAU. We will gladly support this initiative through our international networks and city partnerships."

The Chairpersons of the General Student Committee (AStA), Julia Schmidtke and Johnny Schwausch, said: "As representatives of the student body, we were delighted that Ms Fulda announced she wants to be a president for all. We share her view that a university can only function effectively if all status groups are involved."

The subsequent keynote speech about the science location Schleswig-Holstein was delivered by the Minister of Education, Karin Prien: "We are looking forward to the new perspectives, the innovation and the thirst for action with which Simone Fulda is starting as the first female president of Kiel University. She and the CAU can rely on support from the state along the way. The CAU is an important impetus in our state, it unites science, industry, culture and society and attracts people from all over the world to the true north. We will only be able to release our innovative strength and set off on our joint path towards becoming a University of Excellence within a network in which we link different perspectives together and create synergies," emphasised Minister Prien, and addressed the new University President with a very personal wish: "I wish you not just great success in your new position, but also and above all, a lot of joy every day in being able to help shape this wonderful university."

Taking office with a vision

er inaugural speech, Simone Fulda laid out her vision for the state university, under the motto "Think global, act local": "My vision for the future is to develop Kiel University into one of the 15 excellent universities in Germany with international visibility." Fulda said: "This means explicitly - but not exclusively - a successful positioning of the CAU in the Excellence Strategy. Because for me it is about much more than just a singular competitive procedure. It is about the further development of a culture of quality, to achieve a high level of quality in all major fields of action of our university." The Excellence Strategy is not only a competition between universities, but also a competition between the federal states. Because these determine the science policy framework conditions, said Fulda, who has been a member of the Wissenschaftsrat (Council of Science and Humanities, WR) since 2012.

Excellent research goes hand-in-hand with outstanding and innovative teaching, which is the second mission of the university. Thus, the digitalisation of teaching is a top priority in the immediate future. "Here, we want to find a good combination of digital and face-to-face teaching. And we want to convey digital competence as future skills in all degree programmes."

"I would like to highlight building further bridges with business and society as a third mission of our university," emphasised Fulda. Here, cooperation between all parties is absolutely essential. The "ambitious goal of joining the International Network of Universities" can only be achieved together, by combining our efforts and further developing trusting partnerships.



Claudia Eulitz (Press, Communication and Marketing)
Telephone: +49 431 880-2104
E-Mail: presse@uv.uni-kiel.de