Beate Schücking

Beate A. Schücking

Lesedauer: 3 min
 Beate A. Schücking
Beate A. Schücking

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Physician and first female rector

Beate A. Schücking

Beate Schücking im Neuen Augusteum der Universität Leipzig.
Beate Schücking im Neuen Augusteum der Universität Leipzig.

After a long career in a clinical setting, research and university administration, Beate Schücking was elected rector of Leipzig University in November 2010. The professor of medicine thus became the first female rector in the more than 600-year history of Alma Mater Lipsiensis. Beate Schücking was born in Kassel in 1956 to an eminent scholarly family. After high school, in 1974 she began studying medicine in Ulm. As both an undergraduate and later a postgraduate, her research took her to New York and Paris. In 1980, Beate Schücking received a doctorate in experimental haematology from the University of Ulm. She worked as an assistant physician at first in Biberach and then at the Centre for Internal Medicine at the University of Marburg. She also completed a part-time degree in philosophy and became a qualified psychotherapist which, as she now puts it, “opened up new horizons of thinking”. At the age of just 33, Beate Schücking was appointed professor of medicine in the Department of Social Welfare at Munich University of Applied Sciences in 1989, where she conducted research into areas such as women’s health. As a part-time regional women’s affairs officer, she campaigned hard for educational equality in Bavarian higher education. In 1995, Beate Schücking transferred to the University of Osnabrück, where she also became involved in academic committee work. She quickly rose within academic self-government from senator to dean and then vice-president of the university. A new phase in Beate Schücking’s career began on 16 November 2010 when she was elected rector of Leipzig University, making her the first woman to head Alma Mater Lipsiensis ever since it was founded back in 1409. In January 2017, Beate Schücking was narrowly re-elected rector for another five years. Her tenure has included many milestones in Leipzig University’s recent university. She has intensified collaboration with non-university research institutes in Leipzig as well as the nearby universities in Halle and Jena. A jointly funded biodiversity research centre has been set up in Leipzig. Other successes include her stiff resistance to government-mandated job cuts, the university’s profile of excellence, its transfer and startup strategy, and the development of degree courses serving the public interest in Saxony. Educational fairness and equality remain important concerns for Beate Schücking. Speaking about the appointment of university professors, she declared: “The glass ceiling may have become thinner, but it hasn’t disappeared yet.”

 

Fotonachweis: Universität Leipzig Swen Reichhold (1, 2, 3); Universitätsarchiv Leipzig (4)

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