09.05.2022 - BOKU Rector Eva Schulev-Steindl ceremonially inaugurated
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More than 200 representatives from science, politics and business attended the inauguration of Rector Schulev-Steindl and her team at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna.
In the presence of more than 200 guests from science, politics and business as well as rectors from domestic and international universities, Rector Eva Schulev-Steindl, Vice-Rector Nora Sikora-Wentenschuh and Vice-Rectors Christian Obinger, Gerhard Mannsberger and Karsten Schulz were ceremoniously inaugurated at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences on 5 May 2022.
The ceremony was opened by Kurt Weinberger, Chairman of the University Council. "With the internationally renowned environmental lawyer Univ.Prof.in Dr.in Eva Schulev-Steindl, we were able to win a very special personality as the new rector for our sustainability university. With her, we have chosen a rector who not only has the highest professional but also the highest human qualities. Her high level of social competence coupled with her ability to cooperate and communicate, as well as her esteem for all people at BOKU, the students, the teachers and researchers, the staff and the committees, has been noticeable from the very beginning."
This was followed by the greetings of Senate Chair Gerda Schneider, who led through the inauguration. "For 94 days we have had a decisive, clever Rector who seeks cooperation, especially in teaching. It takes a critical, holistic approach to the most explosive issues of our time. The connection between basic research and practice is more in demand than ever - this makes BOKU fit for the future."
ÖH BOKU Chair Stefanie Nikl recalled her first meeting with Schulev-Steindl: "How can we improve BOKU and your expectations of studying together in a sustainable way, was the Rector's first question to us - we were able to speak openly and want to continue to look ahead together in the future in a sustainable way and hope that we will continue to pull together."
The world is changing, current challenges such as climate protection, biodiversity and sustainability can only be solved with technical expertise, said Science Minister Martin Polaschek. "Universities have to hold up a mirror to society more than ever before, universities are not only institutions but also have a heart and soul, this is where people think and talk freely for the development of our society. The transfer of knowledge into society is more important than ever, also as a contribution to strengthening our democracy. BOKU is one of the most distinguished and recognised universities with a broad range of topics - and has always remained very human". Polaschek concluded his very personal greetings with a friendly advice to the new BOKU Rector: "You are not only a university manager and have to look after the well-being of your institution, you are its face and voice and have a great responsibility to bear - handle it carefully".
Minister of Agriculture Elisabeth Köstinger emphasised that "research, science and teaching must have a common vision and focus on core competences, but they must also work on new fields. The focus has changed: from growth and supplying the population with cheap food to environmental and climate protection as well as the protection of natural resources. There is no better place than BOKU where this will also succeed."
Veronica Kaup-Hasler, the Executive City Councillor for Culture and Science of the City of Vienna, and Karl Moser, the Second President of the Lower Austrian Parliament, then underlined the good cooperation with BOKU and its important role in the university landscape.
After the subsequent ceremonial inauguration - the handing over of the sceptre by her predecessor Hubert Hasenauer and the putting on of the chain by University Council Chairman Kurt Weinberger, Rector Schulev-Steindl turned her gaze to the future in her inauguration speech "Featuring Future - the chances of BOKU as a "Green University". "Sustainability, the 'green', has been in BOKU's DNA from the very beginning. In this sense, as an Alma Mater Viridis - in the lingua franca of our time - it has always been a 'Green University'". And as such, BOKU should continue to grow and prosper in the coming years. The University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna and its people are diverse and yet they are united by sustainable topics, a spirit of research and curiosity, an "entrepreneurial mindset" and, last but not least, social commitment and love for the environment and nature. The rectorate team sees its task in being a kind of facilitator, emphasised Rector Schulev-Steindl. "We want to empower people at BOKU, encourage them and enable them to develop their potential to the fullest." Because, the Rector concluded: "The future opportunities of our BOKU, our "Green University", are magnificent - they just have to be seized."
The rectorate team:
Mag.a Nora Sikora-Wentenschuh
Vice Rector for Finance and Infrastructure
Prof. Mag. Dr. Christian Obinger
Vice Rector for Research and Innovation
Dipl. Ing. Gerhard Mannsberger
Vice Rector for Human Resources, Organisation and Digitalisation
Univ.Prof. Dipl.Geoökol. Dr. Karsten Schulz
Vice Rector for Teaching, Continuing Education and Students
The inauguration to watch: