Rector of the University of Bonn elected for a third term of office

Rector re-elected  Michael Hoch © Photo: Kay Herschelmann / Uni Bonn all images
Rector re-elected Michael Hoch © Photo: Kay Herschelmann / Uni Bonn all images in original size .
The University of Bonn’s election assembly today appointed Rector Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch for a further four-year office term starting in April 2025. This will be his third term of office.

The University election assembly consists of the members of the Senate and the University Council. Both groups have the same voting weight. The election committee is chaired by the chairman of the Senate, Rainer Hüttemann. The University Council and the Senate had already called upon the acting Rector to run for re-election in the fall of 2023. The developmental biologist Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch (born in 1961) took up his first six-year term of office as the 143rd Rector of the University of Bonn in 2015, which lasted six years. In 2020, he was confirmed for a further term of office until 2025. His term of office has now been extended by four years until 2029 through unanimous re-election.

Highly respected in all groups

The Chairman of the University election assembly, Prof. Hüttemann, says: "Professor Hoch is held in the highest regard by all university groups, from students and professors to academic staff and employees in technology and administration. His re-election is a special recognition of his achievements and an expression of the great confidence in his leadership."

University Council Chairman Dieter Engels says: "Professor Hoch is a stroke of luck for this University. He has succeeded in creating an unprecedented spirit of optimism that continues to this day. He has shown the University and its members what they are capable of and motivated them to achieve top performance in many areas. This spirit must now be carried forward. No one could do this better than Michael Hoch."

The University of Excellence Bonn as a milestone

The results of Prof. Hoch’s time in office so far are impressive: Under his leadership, the University of Bonn was one of the big winners of the Excellence Strategy competition initiated by the federal and state governments. With the approval of six Clusters of Excellence in 2018 and its designation as a University of Excellence in 2019, Bonn even emerged as the most successful university in the national competition.

During his period of office, Prof. Hoch led the University of Bonn to the top group of German universities in various key areas and initiated central structural changes. Under his rectorship, for example, six cross-faculty and interdisciplinary Transdisciplinary Research Areas (TRA) were established and expanded as areas of exploration and innovation - a central element of the University’s excellence strategy.

The promotion of equal opportunities and diversity was and is a particular concern of his. Through targeted initiatives and programs, he has promoted a cultural change within the University in this area. Since 2015, he has succeeded in significantly increasing the proportion of female professors, which was still below average when he took office, to almost 30 percent. Progress has also been made in the strategic cross-sectional areas of digitalization, sustainability, knowledge transfer and start-up support. Internationalization was driven forward under his leadership through the expansion of the University’s global network and the establishment of strategic partnerships. The positive development is also reflected in the relevant global university rankings, in which the University of Bonn has moved into the TOP 5 in Germany, the TOP 20 in Europe and the TOP 100 in the world.

Recently named "Rector of the Decade"

In addition to his position as Rector, Prof. Hoch contributes his expertise and his network to important offices in the academic system. He is Chairman of the Board of the German U15 Universities Network, President of the German National Academic Foundation and a member of the Speakers’ Group of the North Rhine-Westphalia Rectors’ Conference (LRK).

Prof. Hoch experienced the extent of his support at the University of Bonn last year when the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (DHV), the professional association representing academics in Germany, awarded him the honorary title of "Rector of the Decade" after he was named "Rector of the Year" three times (2020, 2021 and 2023). This award is based on an annual survey of the association’s members at universities. They praised Prof. Hoch’s leadership and innovative potential in particular, as well as his excellent communication skills and empathy.

Prof. Hoch is delighted with the continued support from all parts of the university: "I would like to thank the members of the Senate and the University Council most sincerely for their renewed great trust. Together with all status groups, we have developed the University of Excellence magnificently and successfully expanded our strategic cross-sectional areas. In the coming years, we need to consolidate our outstanding position in the face of tough international competition and confirm our great success in the Excellence Strategy. This also means that we will provide even better support for young academics in all career phases and significantly strengthen teaching with our own University excellence strategy. I am very much looking forward to this, together with my entire Rectorate team!"