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Prof. Georg Pohnert becomes interim President of the University of Jena

The University Assembly elected the Vice President for Research as interim head

At its meeting on 7 November, the University Assembly of the University of Jena elected the Vice-President for Research, Prof. Georg Pohnert, as interim President of the University. This election had become necessary after Prof. Walter Rosenthal stepped down from the presidency at the end of October. As the elected head, Prof Pohnert will now be appointed by the Ministry and will fulfil the duties of the President of the University of Jena until a newly elected President takes office.

University Council Chair Prof. Wolfgang Marquardt said: “I am delighted that Georg Pohnert is taking over the duties of the President during this transitional phase. In recent years, as Vice President for Research, he has made a significant contribution to the success of the University of Jena by strategically promoting research and transfer. He stands for continuity in the pursuit of excellence and is valued by the members and affiliates of the University as well as by external partners.”

Georg Pohnert, born in 1968, studied chemistry in Karlsruhe and completed his doctorate at the University of Bonn. This was followed by postdoctoral work in the USA before he moved to the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena as a group leader in 1998. In 2003, he obtained his post-doctoral “Habilitation” qualification in organic chemistry at the University of Jena and in 2005, he accepted an appointment at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne. He returned to the University of Jena in 2007 with a Lichtenberg Professorship from the Volkswagen Foundation and currently holds the Chair of Bioorganic Analytics. He has been Vice President for Research at Jena University since 2019.  

In accordance with Section 30(10) of the Thuringian Higher Education Act, the University Assembly elects a temporary head from among the current members of the Executive Board if there is a gap between the end of the President’s term of office and the start of a successor’s term of office. The University Assembly comprises the voting members of the Senate and the external members of the University Council, the Equal Opportunities Officer, the Diversity Officer, the Chair of the Staff Council and the representative body for severely disabled persons. The Chair of the University Council chairs the Assembly.

Image: Anne Günther (University of Jena)