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Reiner Finkeldey elected President of the University of Kassel

29.01.2015 - (idw) Universität Kassel

Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey is to be the new President of the University of Kassel. The forest geneticist was elected by the Universitys extended Senate on Wednesday, 28 January 2015. Finkeldey is currently Vice-President of the University of Göttingen. Prof. Dr. Finkeldey won the fourth ballot with far more than the required absolute majority of 18 votes 25 Yes votes as opposed to 6 No votes and 2 invalid votes. In the preceding third ballot, he won 17 votes, while his election rival, Prof. Dr. Winfried Speitkamp, won 15 (of the 32 votes cast). As no candidate had an absolute majority in the first three rounds of voting, a fourth round was necessary, in which only Finkeldey stood for election. Speitkamp, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Kassel, was the only rival candidate proposed to the extended Senate by the University Council (Hochschulrat).

In his first statement, Finkeldey said, I am delighted to note the confidence shown in me as an external candidate by the extended Senate. I can now make the most of the next few months to become better acquainted with the University of Kassel, its structures and its environment. In particular, I am looking forward to visiting all faculties and the School of Art and Design and to holding discussions with the current members of the Presidents Office. I will be clarifying the key fields of responsibility with my future colleagues in the President's Office and we will communicate this openly within the University. As of October, we will thus be able to make a prompt start in following up on the processes to improve teaching quality that have already begun. Good working conditions for all employees and the support given to next generation academics will be important issues for me right from the start. And I would also naturally like to quickly advance the discussions on how the University of Kassel can further enhance its profile by establishing priority research areas.

The new President will take up office on 1 October 2015. The term of office is six years. Finkeldey will succeed Prof. Dr. Rolf-Dieter Postlep, who is retiring for reasons of age and has held the office since September 2000. Professor Postlep congratulated his designated successor and wished him success and a lot of staying power in his forthcoming duties: Significant challenges lie ahead of you and I am sure that you will succeed in furthering the development of the University of Kassel.

Finkeldey is 52 years old and has extensive leadership experience at university level. He has been Vice-President of the University of Göttingen since April 2013 and was previously Dean of its Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology and a member of the Senate. He studied forest science in Göttingen and wrote his doctoral thesis on forest genetic resources. After many years of working and conducting research abroad, he has held a full professorship in Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding at the University of Göttingen since 2001. His main research interests include genetic responses of forest trees to environmental change, links between genetic variation and biodiversity, ecosystem management and the evolutionary genetics of tropical forest plants. Finkeldey is married.

The extended Senate has 34 members, 18 of whom are university professors. The University of Kassel currently has around 23,700 students.

A photograph can be downloaded here:

Photo caption: The current President, Prof. Dr. Rolf-Dieter Postlep (left), congratulates his elected successor, Prof. Dr. Reiner Finkeldey (right). Photo: Zgoll/Uni Kassel.


Sebastian Mense
University of Kassel
Communication, Press and Public Relations
Tel: +49 561 804-1961
Email: Weitere Informationen:
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