29 October 2021
Successor chosenUniversität Hamburg elects Heekeren as new president
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Hauke Heekeren, born in Herford in 1971, has been Professor of Biological Psychology and Cognitive Neuropsychology at Freie Universität Berlin since 2009 and its vice president for studies and teaching since 2018. The doctor and university manager with long-standing experience in leading interdisciplinary collaborative projects within the Excellence competition was recommended to Universität Hamburg’s Academic Senate by a selection committee. Following a hearing open to the university public on Thursday, 28 October 2021, the Academic Senate elected Heekeren in its session. On the following Friday, the University Council confirmed the vote for Heekeren. This formally concludes Universität Hamburg’s procedural duties as set forth in the Hamburg higher education act (Hamburgisches Hochschulgesetz, HmbHG). The decision is official, however, only when, in a final step, the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg officially appoints Professor Heekeren.
Among the first well-wishers on Friday was the current president, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Lenzen: “The Academic Senate and the University Council have made an excellent decision by electing my colleague Mr. Heekeren. Heekeren ist not only an outstanding scientist but also an experienced member of a university’s management and well-versed in leadership. He will continue to lead Universität Hamburg down a successful path. All the best, good luck, and stay the course.”
Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Petra Wend, chair of the University Council, also congratulated Heekeren: “Prof. Heekeren combines academic excellence with a modern understanding of university leadership. He was compelling not only for his relevant leadership experience but also for his charm and communicativeness. The members of the University Council look forward to working with him.”
Univ.-Prof. Dr. med. Hauke Heekeren has accepted Universität Hamburg’s various committee votes. “I sincerely thank all members of the Academic Senate and the University Council for their trust. It is a great honor and a great responsibility. Universität Hamburg is a strongly performing University of Excellence with outstanding research areas and knowledge transfer activities and it is a responsible educational institution for its more than 40,000 students—the promise of our future. Many intrinsically motivated people study, research, teach, and work at Universität Hamburg and we need their diverse perspectives to further develop our university in the heart of Hamburg, a city committed to academic pursuit. The upcoming years pose a major challenge to the entire institution and it is important to me to shape our university together and to marshal our forces to continue down a path of excellence. A culture of communication is one of my key goals and I am looking forward to conversing with all members of Universität Hamburg in my role as its president.”