Newly Elected Vice-Rectors at the JKU

Based on recommendations by the Rector and Senate approval, the JKU University Council has appointed new Vice-Rectors.

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Today, the University Council at the Johannes Kepler University Linz (chaired by RLB Director General Heinrich Schaller), approved JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas’ proposal and a statement by the 26-member University Senate and elected new vice-rectors for a term of office from 2019 - 2023. The new team will take office on October 1.

Heinrich Schaller, Director General of RLB Upper Austria and Chairman of the University Council, remarked: "I would like to thank the departing vice-rectors for their outstanding work in support of the Johannes Kepler University and the city as a location of education. The decision to not pursue another term was made by each individual for a variety of personal reasons. The JKU is still facing great challenges. We want to support international exchange with other universities. In addition, we want to intensify activities between the faculties. I believe that together with a new team of experts from various academic backgrounds we will be able to implement these and other important topics for the future."

JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas added, "I would like to thank the departing vice-rectors for their unwavering commitment and cooperation. Together with our employees, the JKU has continued to make great strides. In cooperation with the new team, we will continue to face new challenges, including our efforts to meet the academic educational demand in the field of digital transformation, differentiating universities through their social relevance, and establishing sustainable structures as the Faculty of Medicine continues to grow at an enormous rate. To this end, I have been able to attract a team of highly qualified experts from both inside and outside of the university. Our goal continues to be advancing the JKU to become one of Europe’s best, most exciting universities."

Stefan Koch is the new Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, succeeding Andreas Janko. Koch has been head of the Institute for Business Informatics at JKU since 2016. He worked at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul from 2008 – 2016 and for four years he served as head of the Department of Management. His main areas of research include IT management, strategy and company governance, as well as business models and open innovation processes in the digital economy. He actively teaches in both undergraduate and graduate programs in Business Informatics at the JKU, covering IT project management, information management and software business. He is in charge of developing the JKU Business School.

Italian-born JKU physics expert Alberta Bonanni will be the new Vice-Rector for Research, Gender and Diversity, succeeding Alexander Egyed. Bonanni conducts research at the Institute of Semiconductor and Solid State Physics. Since 2015, she has served as chair of the expert committee for condensed matter at the Austrian Physical Society. She has many years of experience acquiring external funding for projects, organizing research groups, supporting international collaboration, and is also actively involved in corresponding European committees and for editorial offices at international scientific journals.

Christopher Lindinger, former Director of Research at the Ars Electronica FutureLabs, succeeds Brigitte Hütter. He will head the new Vice-Rectorate for Innovation and Researchers. For over 20 years, Lindinger has focused on new technologies, innovation cultures and forms of cooperation for research, society and business. Born in Hallein, he conducted research in Chicago on supercomputer visualizations and developed software for NASA, NCSA and the computer game industry. Lindinger has taught at numerous universities throughout Europe, creating curricula for tertiary education and consulting world-wide for cities and institutions to develop innovation structures and creative industries. The new vice-rectorate has been designed to support the transfer of scientific discoveries in innovation and create university-related spin-off companies and other start-ups.

Christiane Tusek, a certified tax consultant, will serve as Vice-Rector for Finance, succeeding Barbara Romauer. As a graduate of business administration at the JKU (majoring in accounting and financing), Tusek initially decided to go into auditing. In 2004, she managed accounting at the industrial company Neuson Kramer Baumaschinen AG for four years. She was also responsible for accounting and controlling at PIN Privatstiftung/Neunteufel GmbH/ASTOR Privatstiftung and its subsidiaries for 15 years.

Elgin Drda is the new Vice-Rector for Medicine, replacing Andrea Olschewski. Drda has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare sector, most recently at the Kepler University Hospital as commercial and organizational director since 2015. She was significantly involved in creating the JKU Faculty of Medicine and, as a member of the international founding commission, is familiar with the major challenges associated with creating a new school. There will be a management team at the Vice-Rectorate for Medicine, with Drda service as Vice-Rector, University Professor Prim. Franz Fellner as Dean of Studies, and Prof. Andreas Gruber as Dean of Research. In addition, Doc. Prim. Bernd Lamprecht will serve as deputy Dean of Studies and Doc. Prim. Wolfram Hötzenecker as Deputy Dean of Research.