Turbulence in the rectorate election at the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin (ASH): Rector Bettina Völter, in office since 2018, was re-elected on Tuesday for a second term – with 12 out of 14 votes in the Academic Senate of the ASH – and also accepted the election .
The also re-elected First Vice-Rector for Research, Olaf Neumann, who received nine out of 14 votes, did not accept the election.
Dagmar Bergs-Winkels, Vice-Rector responsible for studies and teaching since April 2021, also failed: She only received five out of twelve valid votes and, like Neumann, will remain in office on an interim basis until new elections are held. A date for this has not yet been set.
All three of the management team ran unopposed – actually a sign of unity at the university. However, the committee’s decision shows “the tension under which ASH Berlin is currently operating”, commented the old and new ASH rector Bettina Völter late Tuesday afternoon in a press release.
The situation is characterized by “extreme growth, far-reaching organizational change and scarce resources”. However, the rectorate team had “successfully completed many things and set them in motion”, which is why she very much regrets the election result.
As a challenge for the next four years, Völter cites the fact that the ASH, as “Germany’s largest state university for the disciplines of social work, health and education in childhood (SAGE)” has once again ” 40 percent of study places financed by the federal state have grown”.
This requires a fundamental cultural and structural change at the university. In April, two departments were set up at the ASH for the first time: “Social Work” and “Health/Education”. In addition, an administrative reform and the digitization of the university must be further advanced, explains Völter.
Another major project is the extension of the ASH Berlin on Kokoschkaplatz in Hellersdorf. Also in view of the underfunding of the ASH compared to other North German SAGE universities, it will not be easy to cope with the structural change “under these difficult conditions”.