Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen resigns as President of Jacobs University at the end of the year

Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen
Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen

At yesterday’s meeting of Jacobs University’s Board of Governors, Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen offered his resignation as President and Managing Director. The resignation is the result of different conceptions about the leadership and future organization of the university. The Board of Governors in particular acknowledged President Peitgen’s dedication and achievements in the successful negotiations about the trilateral agreements with the Jacobs Foundation and the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen as well as his high level of commitment to the changes already undertaken at the private university.

November 6, 2013

At its meeting on November 5, the Board of Governors of Jacobs University accepted the resignation offer from Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen, hitherto President and Managing Director of Jacobs University, which will come into effect at the end of 2013.

During its meeting the Board of Governors in particular welcomed the completion of the trilateral agreement with the Jacobs Foundation and the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, which lays a binding and sustainable foundation for the development of Jacobs University, and, not least, also for the sustainable, fundamental integration of the private university in the future organization of the whole science system in the Bremen state.

The Board of Governors thanked President Peitgen and the representative of the trustees, Dr. Joh. Christian Jacobs, also President of the Jacobs Foundation and a member of Jacobs University’s Board of Governors, whose joint efforts have led the consensual negotiations with the Bremen state to an excellent result.

It is with the utmost respect that the Board of Governors has accepted the resignation of President Peitgen after the finalization of the trilateral agreement. With its fullest appreciation the Board stressed President Peitgen’s substantial contribution to the initiation of a new working and development phase at Jacobs University.

Chair of the Board of Governors, Prof. Dr. Karin Lochte comments: “The Board of Governors deeply regrets President Peitgen’s decision. Professor Peitgen deserves great recognition; during his presidency he has started many fundamental changes in the future orientation of Jacobs University. We are very grateful to him for his personal commitment and are pleased that in future he will continue to assist and support us with his experience.”

“People who know me, also know that Jacobs University has been a matter very close to my heart for 15 years,” says Prof. Dr. Heinz-Otto Peitgen. “However, differing conceptions about the management of the university, in particular about how to reach the goal of a balanced budget, seem to be irreconcilable and would have been negative for Jacobs University in the medium term in view of increasing challenges. Hence the decision to resign seems to be inevitable for me. I wish Jacobs University, its science and administrative staff, its students and alumni all the best for the future. Personally, I feel my time at Jacobs University has greatly inspired me.”

Professor Peitgen’s presidency will end on December 31. During the remaining time he will mainly attend to developing a number of previously defined foci topics.

The Board of Governors has decided to employ a search committee to ensure a fast succession. Based on a selection of suitable national and international leadership personalities the committee will suggest to the Board a new candidate to take over the presidency.

In addition to her current roles, Prof. Dr. Katja Windt will serve as interim President from January 1, 2014. Prof. Windt has worked at Jacobs University since 2008. As Provost – a position she holds since January 1, 2013 – she has been responsible for the academic development of Jacobs University and supported President Peitgen as second Managing Director. Both took over from Prof. Dr. Joachim Treusch, whose time as President and Managing Director of Jacobs University came to an end on December 2012 after more than six years.

At Jacobs University, the election of a new President falls into the responsibility of the Board of Governors which is made up of representatives from science, business and society. Since 2008, Prof. Dr. Karin Lochte, Director of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, has been the Chair of the Board. At yesterday’s Board of Governors meeting she has been confirmed in her position for a further five years.

Author: Jacobs University