What does it mean to build a totally new university? 


Last year (January 2021) the University of Technology Nuremberg (Technische Universität Nürnberg ) in Germany was founded: we call it UTN. It is a totally new university (higher education institution). And that doesn't happen too often.

We are a start-up university.

In the first year (2021),

  • 2 people started: President Professor Prömel and Kanzler Dr. Zanner (~provost).
  • They entered a rented floor in a bigger building but nothing else was available at the time; no IT infrastructure, no administration, no people, no students

This year (2022),

  • UTN has more than 30 people (July 2022).
  • I started as Professor and Vicepresident for Academic and International Affairs (digital learning included) in January 2022.
  • The first chair of the Department  "Computer Science and Engineering" started in February (Professor Wolfram Burgard).
  • In May, we hired Dr Stefanie Herberger: she is head of the UTN Graduate School. I am so happy working with her - as she has great expertise.
  • In July, our first doctoral researcher started in the Department of Engineering: a woman.
  • And our first postdoc started  in August: a man.

Next year,

  • We get more professors
  • and the second chair for the liberal arts and sciences department.
  • And more administrative support.
  • And: we plan to welcome our first students in the study program of AI & Robotics!

To make that happen, a lot of things have to be done at the same time,

  • developing the first study program (M.Sc.),
  • implementing a campus management system,
  • implementing a learning management system,
  • and much more IT infrastructure -- Here we work together with our IT Head Dr Simon Graf -- it is a wonderful collaborative work!
  • creating processes and policy documents for studying and PhD programs
  • planning the Welcome Center
  • planning the International Office
  • developing a career center
  • creating plans, strategies and actions to support DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion)  in both fields: recruitment and retention (means, checking the learning materials for example)
  • designing new courses
  • support incoming professors and instructors, e.g., how to apply our guidelines for digital learning and positive learning experience design
  • starting with planning of accreditation
  • and so forth. (This list is not exhaustive.)

All these things are falling in my resort as Vice President, and my team is currently just me and Stefanie. But good news: 2 more people get hired soon :-) 😀😀

Yes, we are a start-up university, with all the  positive and challenging feelings when creating something novel and unique. I love the challenge! Once in a lifetime opportunity 👏

How is it going? I'll report in a few months again.

And - of course - happy to present more about UTN and our digital learning experience approach on conferences, meetings, workshops. However,  my calendar gets rapidly full, hence, plan a minimum of 3 (better 5) months ahead.

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