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Prof. Stefan Leible re-elected as university president

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University of Bayreuth, Press release No. 010/2019, 31 January 2019

In a joint meeting today, the University Council and Senate of the University of Bayreuth re-elected Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible. His new term will commence on 1 July 2019. The 55-year-old won the first round against his opponent, Prof. Dr. Manuela Pietraß and obtained the required majority of votes in a strong show of support from both electoral bodies. The election was held because Leible's current six-year term is drawing to an end.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible, Präsident der Universität Bayreuth.

"I am very pleased about the trust placed in me once again and the opportunity to serve this wonderful university in this position for another six years," said Prof. Stefan Leible, the newly re-elected university president.

Dr. Adalbert Weiß, former head of the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture, Science and Art and current chairman of the University Council of the University of Bayreuth, congratulated Leible on his re-election as President of the University of Bayreuth. "This victory over a highly respectable opponent who presented herself extremely well documents the high recognition and trust that Professor Leible has earned during his first term as President. I look forward to continuing this fruitful cooperation and trust for another term of office." In addition, Weiß thanked Prof. Dr. Manuela Pietraß for her willingness to stand for election against an incumbent president: "Professor Pietraß, with her clearly structured statements on the strategic development of the university and her ideas on leadership style, was a worthy opponent who exhibits good qualities for serving in the position of president. On behalf of the University Council, the Chairman, Prof. Pietraß, wished Prof. Pietraß well-deserved success in her future endeavours.

UBT 2025

In an event on 23 January 2019, at which the applicants for the presidency introduced themselves, Leible outlined under the heading 'UBT 2025' his goals for a "small but strong" University of Bayreuth, which continues to place "quality above quantity". According to Leible, the University of Bayreuth is a space for creative thinking, a place for courage, a driving force for innovation, and an excellent place to live.

Leible cited the establishment of the Kulmbach Campus, the establishment of the Medical Campus of Upper Franconia, the establishment of the Bavarian Centre for Battery Technology (BayBatt), the integration of the 'Africa Multiple' Cluster of Excellence, and the establishment of an 'Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation' as the greatest challenges for the coming years. Leible described the securing of funding as a priority task for all projects. For the implementation of the 'Structural and Development Plan 2025', Leible particularly emphasized the support of early-career scholars and the recruitment of leading young scientists as well as the digitization of teaching. Leible intends to strengthen the international character and excellence of research at the University of Bayreuth with a 'Humboldt Centre of International Excellence'. In order to further promote communication on campus, Leible is planning, for example, to establish a 'Faculty Club' as a meeting place outside everyday life in the faculty, for networking across faculty boundaries and with alumni - in short, as a 'place where the future can be shaped'.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible: a brief profile

Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible has held the office of university president since 1 July 2013. He was the first Bayreuth graduate to ever be elected as head of this university. Leible originally comes from Bad Schwartau (Holstein) in northern Germany, but made a conscious decision to study in Bayreuth in Upper Franconia, where he would be able to study 'law with additional training in economics' (WiwiZ). The University of Bayreuth is the only university in Germany to offer the additional qualification of 'Wirtschaftsjurist' ('Business Lawyer'). "The Faculty of Law, Business & Economics at the University of Bayreuth had an excellent reputation then just as it does today," says Leible. He has no sympathy for complaints about 'country life' in Upper Franconia: "From the very beginning I felt at home here on campus. I'm proud to call the town and the University of Bayreuth my home," Leible said. He feels a special emotional connection to his university - which he describes as "small but strong". It is here that he completed his undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral studies. Prof. Leible enjoys living in Bayreuth together with his wife who works here as a lawyer and with whom he has two grown-up sons.

Leible made the University of Bayreuth the starting point of his academic career and returned to his alma mater in 2006 - after his legal clerkship, doctorate (1995), and Habilitation (2001) as well as after five years as Professor of Civil Law, Civil Procedure Law, International Private Law and Comparative Law at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. As Bayreuth's Chair of Civil Law, Private International Law and Comparative Law, as Director of the Research Centre for Economic and Media Law and the Research Centre for German and European Food Law, and as Deputy Director of the Research Centre for Food Quality, he gained experience in leading positions and interdisciplinary fields of work. In addition to his academic activities in research and teaching, Leible was Vice President for International Relations and Outreach from 2010 to 2013 and was actively involved in the development of the structural and development planning of the University of Bayreuth. In 2013, he was elected university president by the University Council and Senate for a term of six years; he has now been re-elected.

Information on the tasks of the president and the election procedure

The president represents the university to the outside world and chairs the University Governing Board, which at the University of Bayreuth consists of the president, four vice presidents, and the provost. He or she gives initiatives for the development of the university and drafts the principles of the university policy objectives. The president is head of the academic staff and enforces internal regulations. At the University of Bayreuth, the president's term of office is six years; re-election is possible beyond twelve years.

A person may be appointed president who belongs to the university as a professor or who has completed a university degree and who, on the basis of several years of responsible professional activity, in particular in science, the arts, business, administration, or the administration of justice, can be expected to be up to the tasks of the office (article 21 para 2 BayHSchG).

The tasks, powers, and responsibilities of the president are set out in article 20 et seq. of the Bavarian Higher Education Act and the Basic Regulations of the University of Bayreuth of 25 June 2007 (as amended). The election process is governed by section 3(7) of the Basic Regulations. The following procedure applies to the election (excerpt): the Senate, in agreement with the University Council, decides on a call for applications at the latest one year before the expiry of the term of office of the incumbent president. Applications must be made in writing. The Senate and the University Council vote in a joint session, but in separate ballots. The person with the majority of the voting members in both the Senate and the University Council is elected. If no candidate receives a majority in the Senate or the University Council in two ballots, the president is elected by the University Council in a third ballot by a majority of its members. The election of the president is the responsibility of the provost in his or her capacity as election manager. The person who was elected has one week to accept the results of the election; the confirmation must be made in writing.


Dr. Markus Zanner
University of Bayreuth
Universitätsstraße 30 / ZUV
95447 Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5211 or -5212
E-mail: kanzler@uni-bayreuth.de

Editorial Office​:

Brigitte Kohlberg
Press Contacts
University of Bayreuth
Universitätsstraße 30 / ZUV
95447 Bayreuth
Phone: +49 (0)921 / 55-5357 or -5324
E-mail: pressestelle@uni-bayreuth.de

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