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Ulf Richter appointed as successor to Chancellor Dr Johann Peter Schäfer

The 42-year-old business law graduate was elected by the University Council and confirmed by the Senate. Ulf Richter is due to take up his office in June 2013.

Chancellor Dr Johann Peter Schäfer officially retired at a ceremony on 1 May 2013. For 20 years he made a substantial contribution to managing the fortunes of the University of Siegen together with the acting rectors. On 15 March members of the University Council elected Ulf Richter as his successor and the third chancellor of the University of Siegen. His election was confirmed at a special senate meeting and he accepted the appointment.

Since April 2010, Ulf Richter has been the Administrative Managing Director of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (and a Ltd. company) in Braunschweig. He is set to start his new role as the University of Siegen’s chancellor in June 2013. Ulf Richter (born in 1970) is originally from Gardelegen in the Altmark. He is married and has one daughter. Between 1987 and 1990 he qualified as a gardener while completing his Abitur. From 2005 to 2007, he studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrück in the faculty of Business Management and Social Sciences focusing on university and science management and graduating as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Previously, he completed a business law degree (Dipl.-Wirtschaftsjurist) in the Business Law faculty at the University of Lüneburg and specialized in financial services. From July 2000 to February 2003, Ulf Richter was employed at KPMG Consulting AG as Senior Consultant in the field of World Class Finance and Nonprofit Organizations for the conceptual planning of programme-oriented funding within the Helmholtz Association. He then transferred as Director of Finance/Controlling to the German Research Center for Biotechnology (from July 2006, the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI). From 2006 to 2009, he was head of human resources and an authorized signatory. From February 2009 to March 2010 Ulf Richter took charge of commercial operations of the Deutsche Einheit Fernstraßenplanungs- und -bau GmbH (DEGES GmbH) in Berlin. His responsibilities included the fields of finance, controlling, human resources, organization and IT.

The Rector Prof. Dr Holger Burckhart comments on the election of Ulf Richter, “A good day for the University of Siegen. Mr Richter has wide and varied experience of science management and we gain an individual with insight into his colleagues’ concerns at the workplace and awareness of the importance of strategic and long-term decisions. He will certainly appreciate the widely acknowledged achievements of our outgoing chancellor, Prof. Dr Schäfer, and continue to add his own impetus.”

Dagmar Lange Chairperson of the University Council remarks, “The University Council is convinced that in appointing the new chancellor Mr Richter can assume shared responsibility for the vital reform process under way at the University of Siegen, while also adding his own ideas and expertise to advance this process.”

Ulf Richter is delighted about the appointment. He is currently looking for a home with his family near Siegen, and plans to relocate during the summer. As a future objective, Ulf Richter intends to contribute to optimizing service processes by tailoring them to meet the requirements of commercial business. As he says, “Scientists and administrators frequently talk a different language. I speak both languages.” However, to determine the precise focus for his future tasks he is asking for 100 days grace. As Mr Richter remarks, “I expect to encounter plenty of new experiences. I have enjoyed wide contact with research institutions and universities, but previously this was mostly in a partner role. Initially I will probably learn a lot and need to rely on the experience of my team.”