Wolfgang A. Herrmann thanked the members of the Supervisory Board for their vote of confidence, which, he is adamant, is a tribute to the entire Board of Management. He also expressed his gratitude to the deans of the 13 faculties for their unanimous nomination, saying, “Together, we will reinforce TUM’s competitiveness on the international stage.” The introduction of the Tenure Track system for young scientists – the first of its kind in Germany, the establishment of the new interdisciplinary Integrative Research Centers, the international expansion of TUM with locations around the world and, closer to home, the strengthening of Bavarian roots and ties were listed by Herrmann as the primary aims of his fifth period of office.
“My job as President is to ensure that we fully develop the diversity of talent we have at our fingertips,” Herrmann declared. “This calls for efficient structures and an empowered management team, but also for a strong and united university community. From admin staff to freshmen and from top professors to alumni, we want to foster an enduring TUM identity that spans every generation and every culture.”
Number of female professors has risen from 7 to 88
Wolfgang A. Herrmann has been a leading light in the development of TUM’s forward-thinking entrepreneurial university strategy. His efforts paid off in 2006 and 2012, when TUM was one of a small number of universities singled out under the German Excellence Initiative. Several of TUM’s reforms have had a trend-setting effect in the German higher education space. For example, its model of a University Constitution with a Supervisory Board (1999) has been adopted right across Germany.
Herrmann has overseen a re-organization of the research environment at TUM. Greater interfaculty collaboration is being encouraged with a view to solving global challenges in areas like energy or mobility. Important milestones include the establishment of the Institute for Advanced Study (2006) and the restructuring of four faculties to create the Weihenstephan Center for Life and Food Sciences, Land Use and the Environment (2000). In 2009, the TUM School of Education became Germany’s first faculty for teacher training and education research. TUM’s efforts to improve the quality of its teaching have been recognized on numerous occasions, notably under the German government’s “Teaching Quality Pact” (2011).
President Herrmann could appoint a number of renowned academics as TUM professors. TUM has been awarded five valuable Alexander von Humboldt professorships despite stiff competition. The number of female professors at TUM has risen from 7 to 88 during Herrmann’s term of office. The student population, meanwhile, has risen from around 18,000 to 32,500.
External funding has more than tripled
During the 17 years of Herrmann’s tenure, EUR 1.61 billion has been invested in construction at TUM’s Munich, Garching and Freising campuses. This includes the largest construction project in the history of TUM: the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz research neutron source (EUR 440 million).
Herrmann also stepped up support for start-ups and patent applications. During his tenure, external funding increased from EUR 84 million (1995) to around EUR 280 million (2012). The TUM University Foundation (2010) was established to further strengthen TUM’s fundraising capabilities.
The TUM President has received many awards, including the titles “President of the Year” (German Association of University Professors and Lecturers, 2012) and “University Manager of the Year” (Center for Higher Education / Financial Times Deutschland, 2009).
Wolfgang A. Herrmann studied chemistry at TUM. After obtaining his doctorate and lecturer qualification at the University of Regensburg and following professorships in Regensburg and Frankfurt, he took over the TUM Chair of Inorganic Chemistry from Prof. Ernst Otto Fischer in 1985. His awards include the Leibniz Prize (1987) and the Max Planck Research Prize (1991). In 2007, he received the Bavarian Order of Merit, and in 2012 he was awarded the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art. He has received eleven honorary doctorates from German and international universities.