Walter Rosenthal is the new President of the German Rectors’ Conference

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Walter Rosenthal is the new President of the HRK. Image: Jens Meyer (University
Walter Rosenthal is the new President of the HRK. Image: Jens Meyer (University of Jena)

During its General Assembly in Trier, the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) elected Walter Rosenthal as its new President. Rosenthal, who has already held the position of HRK Vice President for Research, Academic Career Paths and Transfer since December 2021, was elected in the first round. The term of office of the new HRK President runs until 31 July 2026. The early election became necessary because the previous HRK President, Peter André Alt, had left office before the end of his term.

"I would like to thank my colleagues for the trust they have placed in me and I am looking forward to my new position," said Prof. Rosenthal after his election. He added that in his new office as President of the HRK he would work to strengthen the position of the universities within the scientific system in Germany. In particular, he would like to highlight the diversity of the universities, which he considers to be their major strength, even more. "I also want to work to ensure that the HRK is a vibrant player in public discourses, takes a stand on current developments and also sets its own topics," said Rosenthal. Rosenthal will initially hold the new office on a part-time basis and will continue to serve as President of the University of Jena until his succession is settled.

Walter Rosenthal was born in 1954, is a physician and pharmacologist and has been President of Friedrich Schiller University Jena since 2014. Previously, he was director of today’s Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) from 1996 to 2009 and chairman of the foundation’s board and scientific director of the Max Delbrück Center (MDC) in Berlin-Buch, a research centre of the Helmholtz Association, from 2009 to 2014. He is a member of the Leopoldina, the Senate of the Leibniz Association and Dean of the Max Planck Schools. In 2022, he was awarded "Higher Education Manager of the Year" by "Die Zeit" and the Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE).