Meschede – clausthal – munich – coburg: these are the stations of christiane fritze’s life: the 50-year-old was born in meschede, studied industrial engineering in clausthal, worked for BMW in munich for several years, and in 2003 moved to the university of applied sciences in munich as a professor of applied materials technology and quality assurance. 2008 to 2016 she was vice president there, since 15. Marz she is acting as president of the university of coburg.
On friday, the inauguration took place with around 300 guests from politics, business and the university. The head of the ministry of education, peter muller, spoke on behalf of the university council; the chairman, professor johannes vielhaber, welcomed the new president. Vielhaber also acknowledged the commitment of vice president jutta michel, who had been in charge of the university since july 2016, when president michael potzl died suddenly while attending a meeting in potsdam. "A lot of things that might have been difficult under potzl, because he was also a difficult person, went smoothly with them.", said vielhaber to jutta michel.
In 2015, the university development plan "hepco 2020" was under potzl’s aegis it has been decided that the guideline for the further development of the university should be. The new president christiane fritze made explicit reference to this and to potzl’s work when she promised: "i will try to preserve the memory and continue on the path we have chosen".
Hepco 2020 also serves as a guideline for her, but it is important to "constantly adapt, prioritize and refine" it. Because we already have to think about where coburg university should be in 2030. She wants to further sharpen the university’s interdisciplinary profile, she announced. Cooperation across disciplines is an essential element of the "coburg way, for which the university also receives grants from the federal government. Another focus is on "socially responsible action", the university wants to encourage its students to do.
Christiane fritze also sees the university as an "innovation driver", not just for companies, but for society as well. "We must prepare our students for the internationalized and digitalized world of work", the new president demanded.
Like her predecessor, michael potzl, fritze is a strong advocate of research at universities of applied sciences – something she did together with potzl when she was vice president of the university in munich. Because the practice-oriented teaching at the (technical) colleges needs research and development for new impulses, which are then carried on into the economy and society, said fritze. Fritze wants to continue and expand the cooperation with neighboring universities in the technology alliance of upper franconia as well as the strategic partnerships with companies in the region. "I cordially invite you to a dialogue with the university."
The inaugural speech was followed by numerous grub words in pre-digital times. There were also – but pre-recorded and summarized in a short video. The funeral cake that was presented afterwards was, however, very genuine and analogous.