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Michael Schwarze to Become Vice President for Academic Affairs

Senate and University Council elect Professor of Romance Literature and Director of the Binational School of Education of the University of Konstanz

Freiburg, Feb 09, 2021

Michael Schwarze to Become Vice President for Academic Affairs

Michael Schwarze. Photo: University of Konstanz

The University of Freiburg has elected its future vice president for academic affairs. In a joint session, the electoral bodies, the Senate and University Council, have voted for the literary scholar Prof. Dr. Michael Schwarze of the University of Konstanz. “I am very happy about being elected vice president for academic affairs and I thank the electoral bodies for their great confidence," says Schwarze. He continues, "The objective of my term in office will be to further creatively the development – together with everyone involved in academic affairs, including in continuing and further education – the conditions for study and instruction in an ongoing process. Universities are called upon during a time when the public must choose between what is fact and what is fake. A major concern of mine is supporting the development of new digital learning and teaching methods. In doing this, it is important to me that the tried and true standards of academic pursuits are maintained and new forms of academic practice are acquired early on. This is why I’d like to place a particular emphasis on academic integrity in learning and teaching.”

University of Freiburg Rector Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein says, “In the person of Michael Schwarze we are gaining a very experienced university professor and manager. He combines a communicative leadership style with an excellent ability to perceive the gist of issues – even difficult ones. This is a very good qualification for appropriately handling, developing and implementing creative solutions for many situations in learning and teaching. Among other things, he demonstrated this through his work as dean and director of the Binational School of Education at the University of Konstanz.”

Michael Schwarze studied French, History, and Italian at the University of Konstanz as well as in Rouen, France, and Cologne. In 2002, he received his Ph.D. in Romance Literature at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. He was awarded the Elise Richter Prize of the "Deutsche Romanistenverband" (German Association of Romance Studies) in 2009 for his post-doctoral thesis at the University of Klagenfurt in Klagenfurt, Austria. He then accepted an appointment in 2010 to a professorship in Romance Literature with an emphasis on Italian Literature at the University of Konstanz. From 2015 to 2019 he was dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Konstanz and since October 2019 has been the director of the Binational School of Education (BiSE), which directs, coordinates, and develops all areas of teacher education at the University of Konstanz.

Michael Schwarze follows Slavic Studies and Linguistics specialist Prof. Dr. Juliane Besters-Dilger, as vice president of academic affairs at the University of Freiburg. She held the office from 2014 until her retirement at the end of September 2020. Among the milestones of her administration were the reform of the teaching degree program, with the shift in qualification from state examinations to Bachelor's and Master's degrees. The process included the University of Freiburg, together with the Freiburg University of Education, founding and establishing the School of Education "Freiburg Advanced Center of Education" (FACE). What is more, under Besters-Dilger's leadership, the university successfully and unreservedly completed a process of system accreditation that was started in 2017. As a result, the university has since March 2020 been able to confer autonomously the seal of quality of the council of accreditation for its more than 200 courses of study, a process that formerly had to be carried out by external organizations. Beyond that, Besters-Dilger started another process in 2017 that – working in conjunction with members of all university status groups – set a strategy for the digitizing of instruction. This strategy was adopted in May 2020, a time when its relevance and actuality for university operations again became clear as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences.

The session of both electoral bodies was held as a video conference because of the pandemic as well. Actual balloting took place via the BSCW-Server of the University of Freiburg.


Website of Michael Schwarze


Prof. Dr. Michael Schwarze
Department of Literature, Art and Media Studies University of Konstanz
Tel.: 07531/88-2681


Press photo for download
Photo: University of Konstanz

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