May 21, 2024

University development: DHV positions itself to address the challenges facing science

Less bureaucracy and more freedom to make decisions

Koch also called for reducing bureaucracy, especially in science. In Germany there is still “a forest of ambiguous and contradictory rules that cost a lot of time, money and people.” According to Koch, universities are subject to excessive standards, cumbersome formalities and lengthy approval procedures, “whether in third-party funding, human resources and procurement, construction, procurement, or, increasingly, labor law.” said the head of DHV.

The Expert Committee for Research and Innovation set up by the Federal Government rightly pointed out in its current annual report that many international talents have decided not to consider Germany as a location for research – not least because of the inefficient and complex administrative processes regarding immigration.

“Universities need short decision-making processes and personal responsibility.” President of DHV Prof. Dr. doctor. H. C. Lambert T. Koch

The DHV therefore calls for reducing standardization and expanding the scope of decision-making: “Universities need short decision-making processes and personal acceptance of responsibility. But above all, they also need the courage of politicians to trust highly qualified and highly motivated scientists,” Koch concluded, relying mainly on Legal oversight “particularly in difficult times like the present, when society hopes for more answers from science than ever before.”

Pluralism as strength

In addition, the DHV has clearly positioned itself as a paper for the openness of scientific organizational structures. DHV warns of push for standardization. “Within the framework of academic freedom protected by the Constitution, it must remain primarily the task of the university itself to decide which organization is appropriate for itself and which best serves the interests of research, teaching, and medical care.” DHV head Koch confirmed in Berlin. Organizational structures in research and teaching should not “seek an end in themselves”, but should only serve the best possible research and teaching and its continued development.

The diversity of science in finding topics, choosing methods and culture of debate, which are then expressed in communication, daily organization or professional paths, is not a weakness, but its strength. Strictly hierarchical organizational structures pose a barrier to creative searches. “There is therefore a need for a management culture in which scientists at all levels participate appropriately and comprehensively in the decision-making process. Only with scientists, and not above their heads, will our universities be able to remain in national and international competition and develop their strengths.” Koch explained.

“Whether and to what extent the qualification is one of several pathways to a university professorship will not be determined uniformly across disciplines.” President of DHV Prof. Dr. doctor. H. C. Lambert T. Koch

If you want to attract and inspire people to pursue scientific careers given the shortage of skilled workers, you must offer them reliable opportunities at the right time. In particular, tenure-track models for positions at or below the professorial level are appropriate to meet this requirement for scholars because they are linked to a tenure-track position after a favorably evaluated probationary period. “Whether, and to what extent, the qualification is one of several pathways to a university professorship will not be determined uniformly across disciplines,” Koch says. The question of whether the German science system should become more open to the administrative structures common in other science systems, where less formal hierarchies exist, should be discussed openly. Depending on the topic, location, and management culture, answers can vary.