Universität Heidelberg Senate Elects Four New Vice-Rectors

Jörg Pross | © Philip Benjamin

Jörg Pross | © Philip Benjamin

Jörg Pross, Karin Schumacher, Anja-Désirée Senz and Marc-Philippe Weller will take office in October 2019

The Senate of Heidelberg University has elected four new Vice-Rectors: Geoscientist Jörg Pross will take over the office of Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer. The new Vice-Rector for Quality Development is biologist Karin Schumacher. The Senate elected sinologist Anja-Désirée Senz to the office of Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Teaching. Jurist Marc-Philippe Weller will serve as Vice-Rector for International Affairs. The three-year terms of office will begin on 1 October 2019.

Jörg Pross studied geology and palaeontology at the universities of Stuttgart and Tübingen as well as the University of Oregon in the USA. After completing his doctorate and habilitation in Tübingen, Jörg Pross held positions as a visiting research scientist in the USA as well as Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He was Professor of Micropalaeontology and Palaeoceanography and pursued research at Goethe University Frankfurt from 2004 to 2013, before he was appointed Professor of Palynology at Heidelberg University’s Institute of Earth Sciences. He spent lengthier research sojourns at a number of American universities, including Columbia University in New York and finally the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Since 2017, Jörg Pross has served as Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences as well as Dean of the Combined Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Heidelberg University.

Karin Schumacher completed her degree in biology at the University of Cologne, where she also earned her doctorate. From 1996 to 1999, she researched at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in San Diego (USA). She then joined the Center for Plant Molecular Biology at the University of Tübingen, starting as a research assistant and moving on to lead an independent junior research group in 2001. Karin Schumacher habilitated in Tübingen in 2006. Since 2007, she has been Professor of Plant Developmental Biology at the Centre for Organismal Studies at Heidelberg University. Prof. Schumacher has served as Dean of the Faculty of Biosciences since 2018.

Anja-Désirée Senz studied political science, sociology and ethnology at the University of Trier as well as Chinese language and literature at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou (China). She was awarded her PhD at the Institute of Political Science of the University of Duisburg-Essen, where she worked as a research consultant at the Faculty of Social Sciences and a research assistant at the Institute of East Asian Studies. From 2009 to 2014, Prof. Senz was Executive Director of the Confucius Institute Metropolis Ruhr, before she joined Heidelberg University as a junior professor at the Institute of Chinese Studies. Last year, she assumed a professorship for transcultural studies (Chinese studies) with an emphasis on the economy and society of China and East Asia. Prof. Senz travels regularly to Asia for work and field research.

Marc-Philippe Weller studied law at the universities of Heidelberg and Montpellier (France) and earned his doctorate at Ruperto Carola while also employed as an associate advocate. After habilitating at the University of Cologne, where he worked as a research assistant, he was appointed to the University of Mannheim in 2008, and then the University of Freiburg in 2011. As Professor for Private Law, Commercial Law, International Private Law and Comparative Law, he has been teaching and researching at Heidelberg University since 2014. Prof. Weller has been Director of the Institute for Comparative Law, Conflict of Laws and International Business Law at Ruperto Carola since 2017. He was a visiting professor at universities in Austria, France, Sweden, Taiwan and the USA and directed a summer course at the Haag Academy for International Law.

The Rectorate consists of two full-time members, the Rector and the Kanzler, as well as four part-time Vice-Rectors. Each is responsible for a specific business area. The election for the four new Vice-Presidents was held on 3 June. Prof. Pross is taking over the office of Vice-Rector for Research and Transfer from chemist Stephen K. Hashmi. Prof. Schumacher will follow linguist Óscar Loureda as Vice-Rector for Quality Development. Prof. Senz is replacing Anglicist Beatrix Busse as Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Teaching. Prof. Weller will serve as Vice-Rector for International Affairs, replacing physicist Dieter W. Heermann. The four previous Vice-Rectors each served two terms in the Rectorate, starting in 2013.

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