Professor Dr. Karim Khakzar, President of Fulda University of Applied Sciences, is “University Manager of the Year 2018”
Professor Dr. Karim Khakzar, President of Fulda University of Applied Sciences, is “University Manager of the Year 2018”. The aim of the award, presented by the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT and the CHE Centre for Higher Education, is to acknowledge managers of German higher education institutions who have shaped the development of their organisation with outstanding leadership and initiated innovative change processes. The award ceremony will take place during the “Hochschule & Bildung” ZEIT conference in Berlin on 6 December.
Professor Dr. Karim Khakzar has been engaged as President of Fulda University of Applied Sciences since December 2008. The jury was impressed by the fact that the higher education institution (HEI) was always at the forefront of higher education policy reform in recent years. Examples include policy reforms that gave universities of applied sciences the authority to award doctoral degrees, and the transfer of ideas, knowledge and technologies into the region. The jury is convinced that “this is due to his leadership performance.” It also praised the considerable efforts taken to achieve stable structures within the HEI. Khakzar’s colleagues describe him as a “visionary, cooperative and target-oriented” manager.
“His engaging, restrained manner has enabled him not only to unite the HEI, but also to give it direction. He remains calm and level-headed in difficult situations. He is a diplomat who is able to mediate, and who strengthens the sense of unity – but who makes and implements decisions as a university manager nonetheless,” stated Professor Dr. Frank Ziegele, Executive Director of the CHE Centre for Higher Education, and a member of the jury.
Khakzar has also demonstrated commitment to universities of applied sciences in general. He has been Spokesperson of the HRK (German Rectors’ Conference) Universities of Applied Sciences Member Group as well as HRK Vice President since 2016.
University Manager of the Year 2018 Professor Dr. Karim Khakzar (Photo: Kevin Fuchs)
Information about the selection procedure:
At the preselection stage, the change processes achieved at the HEIs were initially considered in the search for the University Manager of the Year. These change processes were identified on the basis of data provided by organisations such as the German Academic Exchange Service, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the CHE University Ranking.
As a result, Khakzar and 30 other managers of dynamically developing HEIs were questioned in writing about their understanding of leadership and the management activities they took to achieve these results. Particular emphasis was placed on their contribution to transferring and sharing knowledge with society. Seeking to shed light on the findings gained from a different perspective, the relevant vice rectors, vice presidents and chairs of university councils were asked about the leadership performance of their university management.
The following individuals were also nominated for the University Manager of the Year 2018 award:
Professor Dr. Michael Braun, President of Nuremberg Tech – Technische Hochschule Nürnberg, Professor Dr. phil. Ludwig Hilmer, Rector of Mittweida University of Applied Sciences, Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, Rector of the University of Freiburg, Professor Dr. Peter Sperber, President of Deggendorf Institute of Technology, and Professor Dr. Birgitta Wolff, President of Goethe University Frankfurt.
The award-winner was selected by a jury of experts consisting of:
Professor Dr. Hans-Hennig von Grünberg, (President of Hochschule Niederrhein, University Manager of the Year 2017), Manuel J. Hartung (Head of DIE ZEIT Chancen), Professor Dr. Claudia Peus (Professor of Research and Science Management, Technische Universität München), Professor Dr. Ulrich Radtke (Rector of the University of Duisburg-Essen, University Manager of the Year 2015), Marion Schmidt (Head of University Development and Strategic Communication, COGNOS AG, and initiator of the award), Dr. Nathalie von Siemens (Managing Director / Board Spokesperson of Siemens Stiftung), Professor Dr. Johanna Wanka (former Federal Minister), Professor Dr. Margret Wintermantel (President of the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD) and Professor Dr. Frank Ziegele (Executive Director of the CHE Centre for Higher Education and Professor of Higher Education and Research Management).