#herstory. Sachsen und seine Akademikerinnen.

Female rectors

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For much of the 20th century, the senior administrative level of German universities and colleges was an exclusively male domain from which female applicants were effectively barred, their solid academic education notwithstanding. Finally, Dresden University of Technology wrote its own chapter of German university history when Lieselott Herforth (1916–2010), a professor of physics, became the first rector of any German university from 1965 until 1968. In the 1970s, the East German government tried to improve the lot of female employees of universities and colleges through a series of political measures supporting women and the family. Nevertheless, in 1976 the Women’s Commission of the party leadership at Karl Marx University in Leipzig ascertained that this backing for women barely had an impact at the senior level, with only a handful of female academics achieving top administrative positions. After Lieselott Herforth, decades passed before the next female rector was appointed. Only in 2011 was Beate A. Schücking, a professor of medicine, appointed the first female rector in the more than 600-year history of Leipzig University. Coincidentally, the HGB Leipzig Academy of Visual Arts and HTWK Leipzig University of Applied Sciences also had women at the helm in 2011. That same year, economist Cornelia Zanger was made acting rector of Chemnitz University of Technology. Although women are still underrepresented in professorships and other top positions at colleges and universities, according to official statistics, Saxony’s academic sector is becoming more female. Since 1995, the proportion of women among academic and artistic staff at universities and colleges has risen by 10%. And in 2016, a quarter of all professorial chairs in Saxony were held by females.

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Female rectors

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