Katharina Boele-Woelki becomes Dean of Bucerius Law School

A new academic year commences.

Katharina Boele-Woelki and Karsten Thorn.

On Friday, October 2, 2015, Bucerius Law School celebrated the beginning of a new academic year at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to welcoming the 2015 entering class and celebrating outstanding academic accomplishments, highlights of the ceremony included the handing over of the Presidency to Professor Dr. Dr. hc mult. Katharina Boele-Woelki.

Boele-Woelki offered her thanks to the approximately 700 guests in attendance and praised Karsten Thorn for the 18-month term he served as interim dean. The new head of the Law School described her excitement in being offered the position: "This is what I want! To stand at the forefront of a university that enjoys such an excellent reputation not only in Germany, but throughout the world. An institution that stands for internationality and that does an exemplary job of fostering connections to the legal practice; one that functions so differently from others in Germany and abroad: effectively and without unnecessary complication or bureaucracy.” Bucerius Law School has enjoyed constant renewal since it was founded in 2000, a trend which the new dean strives to perpetuate in steering a course for the institution.

Boele-Woelki drew attention to coming developments and the challenges that will accompany them: an increased use of information and communication technologies in teaching (keyword: digital learning); supporting efforts to further increase the number of female students; coordinating the introduction of a doctoral program characterized by self-directed research, dependable assistance and institutional support; drawing greater visibility to research achievements and strengthening interdisciplinary cooperation both among branches of legal scholarship and across academic concentrations -- in Hamburg, in Germany and at European and global levels. Citing a concrete example, Boele-Woelki emphasized close collaboration with the Hamburg-based Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law as a topic of particular importance to her.

Continued internationalization of Bucerius Law School is another top priority of its new dean. Recognizing the institution’s international profile for the excellent opportunities it provides to students, faculty members and academic staff, Boele-Woelki asserted that the pioneering fervor and leading position of the Bucerius name should be upheld and further developed.

The opening ceremony included additional speeches by former Bucerius dean Prof. Dr. Doris König, Katharina Fegebank, Hamburg’s Second Mayor and Senator for Science, Research and Equality, and Lale Meyer, General Secretary of the Bucerius student body.