Baden-Württemberg State Government Approves Aggregate Faculty Teaching Load for the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Heidelberg

25 07 2008
Science minister Frankenberg and Rector Eitel: first new regulation in Germany for greater flexibility in the deployment of teaching staff
In future, the teaching hours of the academic staff at the University of Heidelberg’s Faculty of Physics and Astronomy are to be pooled in an aggregate faculty teaching load. This means that teaching obligations can be distributed more flexibly among the academic staff without affecting the overall amount of teaching offered. Baden-Württemberg’s Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts has approved a regulation proposed by the University of Heidelberg to this effect. Science minister Dr. Peter Frankenberg announced this decision in Stuttgart on 24 July 2008.

Science minister Professor Dr. Frankenberg and the Rector of the University of Heidelberg, Professor Dr. Bernhard Eitel, emphasised: “The University of Heidelberg is the first in Germany to introduce an aggregate faculty teaching load. This measure enables the Faculty to deviate from individual teaching loads and gear its activities to the overall teaching load for the Faculty as a whole. This gives the University a higher degree of responsibility for assuring greater efficiency in research and teaching.”

Rector Professor Dr. Bernhard Eitel said: “The aggregate faculty teaching load is an instrument that puts the University of Heidelberg in the fortunate position to offer outstanding scientists much greater flexibility in the acquittal of their duties and thus to improve the likelihood of persuading them to come to Heidelberg. After all, excellence requires the best brains going!”

Science minister Professor Dr. Frankenberg noted that an experimental clause written into the State Higher Education Law last year had made this regulation possible. “Our aim is to give universities and colleges greater autonomy in organising their activities. The aggregate faculty work load supports this aim. We have approved the regulation at the University of Heidelberg for an initial pilot phase of three years. After that we will evaluate the outcome.”

According to Article 15 of Germany’s “First Law on the Implementation of the Reform of the Federal System” adopted in 2007, universities and colleges can lay down aggregate faculty teaching loads for their Faculties, subject to approval from the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts. The aggregate faculty teaching load must not be lower than the sum of the individual teaching hours incumbent on all teaching staff in all Faculties. The distribution of the teaching load to individual instructors is decided upon by the Rectorate in consultation with the Dean’s office of the respective Faculty. Aggregate faculty teaching loads are restricted to a period of three years. If the subsequent evaluation is favourable they can then be extended.

Please address any inquiries to
Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg
Press Office
phone: 0711/2793005, fax: 2793081

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Public Information Officer
University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

Irene Thewalt
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 542317

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