Deutsch Intern
  • Weihnachten im Foyer der Neuen Uni am Sanderring. Bild: Robert Emmerich
University Archives

University statutes and university reform

On the way to the Bavarian Higher Education Act

Part 7 of 7

The new University Statutes established the office of the Chancellor and relieved the Rector. The function of the rector's college was redefined. But truly profound changes were brought about by the first Bavarian Higher Education Act, which for the first time prescribed the office of president.


After tough wrangling, the university statutes were finally adopted on July 16, 1968. It relieved the rector, who until then, with a term of office of one year, had had to continue to hold his classes in addition to his official duties, which had increasingly proved to be an insurmountable challenge. He was therefore relieved of day-to-day administrative duties, which were now the responsibility of the newly introduced chancellor. In addition, the Rector was assisted by a Konrektor, elected at the same time as him, and the term of office was increased to two years. If the rector resigned, he automatically became a member of the following rectorate as prorector. Thus, he could continue teaching and research. The three members of the Rectorate College had to come from different faculties. Their election, as well as that of the members of the Narrow Senate and the Administrative Committee, was the responsibility of the Grand Senate.

The Higher Education Framework Act creates a new framework

Since 1969, the federal government has had the framework authority to regulate the general principles of higher education, which, after many years of deliberation, finally led to the adoption of the Higher Education Framework Act of January 26, 1976.

The first Bavarian Higher Education Act causes a profound caesura

The first Bavarian Higher Education Act was passed at the end of 1973. It marked a profound change in the organizational structure of Bavarian universities, which had evolved over centuries. The universities now had a dual legal nature, according to which they were both public corporations and state institutions. In the non-governmental affairs of the university, state influence was limited to legal supervision. With equal representation in the Assembly, Senate, and departmental councils, the university became a group university, with the professoriate required to have a majority of votes in all bodies. Another drastic change was the presidential constitution, which was now prescribed by law. The rector, who held office for only two years in addition to his duties as a professor, was replaced by a full-time president elected for up to six years.

The extended senate replaces the assembly

With the amendment of the law in 1998, the Assembly, whose task was to pass resolutions on the Basic Regulations and to elect the Presidential College, was abolished and replaced by an extended Senate, which took over its tasks. In addition to the members of the Senate, it consisted of the department spokespersons, or - in the case of their Senate membership - their deputies, and elected representatives of the academic and artistic staff, other employees and students in a ratio of 6:2:1:2. However, before the election of the President, the now also newly introduced University Council was to be consulted and thus assumed an advisory function in this regard.

Expanded university management brings additional opportunities for co-determination

A further streamlining of the organizational structure of the Bavarian universities was brought about by the reform of 2006. The university management was supported by the Extended University Management, which, in addition to the Presidential Board, includes the deans and the women's representative and, since 2013, one representative each of the academic staff, other staff and students. With the 2006 reform, the University Council became an elective body for the positions of president and vice president.


Spotlight - Disempowered professors?

In a spectacular meeting of the Grand Senate on June 25, 1968, on the new university statutes, the Senate adopted by seven votes to five with six abstentions not the draft of the Constitutional Committee, but the draft of the non-ordinarians. According to this, all full-time department heads and academic councillors, as well as associate professors and private lecturers, were also to be members of the Grand Senate. The previously dominant ordinaries (chair holders) would thus only have been in the minority, and the traditional balance of power at the university would have been turned upside down. But already in the meeting on the following day, the Senate no longer upheld this revolutionary decision.