The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the community service foundation Dieter Schwarz Stiftung have signed a comprehensive contractual structure providing for one of the most important endowments in the history of German universities: The endowment will permanently finance 20 new economics professorships, complete with facilities and infrastructure. The topical frontier will focus on transformation through digitalization, family-owned companies and entrepreneurship. 13 professorships will be located at the new TUM Campus Heilbronn, where in the future young management candidates will study in one of the most innovative high-tech regions in Europe; 7 additional professorships will strengthen the TUM School of Management in Munich.
The collaboration between the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung and TUM is unprecedented in many respects:
- The foundation will finance the 20 endowed professorships for an initial period of 30 years, including facilities, operating expenses and building infrastructure at the Heilbronn educational campus.
- The high-tech region Heilbronn will receive a university facility which will emerge as one of the leading locations for management education.
- The endowment will make the "Triple Crown"-accredited TUM School of Management by far the largest business economics university department in Germany – only 16 years after its foundation.
- The TUM Campus Heilbronn is the first instance of a German university establishing its own campus location in another German state.
The substantive focus areas of the TUM Campus Heilbronn include the most important topics from the future of business and work in Germany: How can companies actively shape the far-reaching and rapid transformations of the digital age? What challenges will family-owned companies face as the backbone of the German economy? What are the best conditions for rapid growth and sustainable success of start-ups?
The TUM School of Management's distinctive profile makes it ideal for the exploration of these questions: With its complete orientation towards the interaction of the fields management and technology, entrepreneurship education and technology-based entrepreneurship enjoy a special priority. The Heilbronn-Franconia region is more strongly characterized by family-owned companies than the Munich region is, which means the new site opens up opportunities for intensifying economic investigation of this type of company in research partnerships with medium-sized high-tech companies. One point of departure here is a number of successful projects already completed: For example, the DAXplus Family stock index introduced in 2010 was developed primarily at the TUM School of Management.
Degree programs combine management and technology
The research results of the new professorships will be directly integrated in curricula. In Heilbronn Bachelor's and Master's degree programs as well as Executive Education courses will train future leaders in management, who will then be ideally prepared to work in technology-driven companies. This interdisciplinary focus begins as early as the Bachelor's degree program, where all students study a technical subject in addition to business economics. The option of doctoral studies rounds out the program portfolio at the TUM Campus Heilbronn.
In a first step, two English-language degree programs will be launched in the 2018/19 winter semester at Heilbronn: The secondary Master's degree program "Management & Innovation" conveys the latest findings from innovation management, entrepreneurship and technology, including practice-oriented projects at companies. The Master's degree program "Management" is conceived especially for particularly well-qualified Bachelor's degree graduates in the engineering and natural sciences.
The outstanding educational quality of the TUM School of Management is attested by the "Triple Crown", a combination of the three most important international accreditations. To earn this prestigious seal of quality, business schools have to meet a large number of criteria, including high levels of qualification among teaching staff, international character of curricula, energetic exchange with the business world and dedicated involvement in ethics and sustainability. Another clearly evident measure of success is the rapidly rising popularity of the curricula and the outstanding level of demand for graduates: The number of students attending the TUM School of Management has jumped in the last five years by more than 50 percent to today's total of approximately 4,700. The students regularly give their university the highest scores in the renowned CHE Ranking.
"Issues of technology are relevant to society as a whole"
"The endowment by the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung is a milestone in the recent history of TUM. It is a clear vote of confidence in our ability as an entrepreneurial university to turn the endowment funds into excellent research and education," emphasizes TUM President Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann. "At the same time it validates our decision to orient an entire economics department towards the questions of technology, which was considered an incalculable risk at the time the faculty was founded in 2002. Now it will become Germany's largest business economics department, since these topics are of general relevance to society as a whole in a technologized, digitally driven world. This is even more reason for us to be pleased by the prospect of working in Baden-Württemberg, with its fascinating density and variety of 'Hidden Champions'."
"It is the stated intent of the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung to take action where economy and society place demands that state instances cannot fulfill adequately or at all," adds Prof. Reinhold R. Geilsdörfer. "We have thus worked with great intensity to reach this day. By signing the contract for a university location we have come an important step closer to achieving the goal of completing the 'educational pyramid' in the higher education sector and have optimally rounded off the curricula at the Heilbronn site." The foundation also expects the TUM Campus Heilbronn to further reinforce the international visibility and competitive strength of Heilbronn as a popular place to study. Geilsdörfer also emphasized the fact that companies in the Heilbronn-Franconia region will be the primary beneficiaries of the partnership: In the future these companies will have access to excellently educated young professionals and their collaboration with one another will be strengthened by the new research location.
Prof. Peter Frankenberg, executive officer ("Gesellschafter ") of the Dieter Schwarz Stiftung and former Minister of Science in Baden-Württemberg, was involved in the process from the very beginning. "The technological aspects and economic orientation embodied by TUM offers ideal prerequisites and development potentials for students at the Heilbronn campus," he remarks.
The endowment of the 20 professorships is not linked to restrictions of any sort, as President Prof. Herrmann emphasizes: "The foundation will not have influence of any kind on academic directions, appointments or curricula. The professorate will also retain individual freedom to decide on research content pursuant to Art. 5, Para. 3 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany. The endowment agreement is also in compliance with the obligatory TUM Fundraising Code of Conduct." He added that TUM will live up to the trust put in it by the neighboring German state with outstanding performance.