President Dr. Thomas Puhl Earns Second-Highest Score in the “University President of the Year” Survey

For the fourth time in a row, the members of the German Association of University Professors and Lecturers (Deutscher Hochschulverband (DHV)) see Puhl in the top group of university presidents.

In 2022, Thomas Puhl was voted “University President of the Year”. Back in 2021, he ranked second and in 2023, he ranked fourth. With 1.61, he has earned the second-highest score again. The members agreed that Puhl is a “very good” or “ideal fit” for the leadership position and recognized his “warmth and personal affection”, his appreciative style of communication but also his expertise and leadership skills.

With a grade of 1.48, Professor Dr. Manfred Bayer, President of TU Dortmund University, has achieved the best result and will be honored with the “University President of the Year” award. The third place goes to the President of the University of Hohenheim, Professor Dr. Stephan Dabbert, who won the award in 2016 and has achieved a grade of 1.84. The President of the University of Wuppertal, Professor Dr. Birgitta Wolff, and the President of Osnabrück University, Professor Dr. Susanne Menzel-Riedl, share the fourth place with a grade of 1.87.

“I am very happy that the professors and researchers are still satisfied with my work – and have been for a while,” says Puhl. “I would also like to congratulate my colleague Manfred Bayer from Dortmund, who is “University President of the Year”, my colleague from Hohenheim, Stephan Dabbert, and my colleagues from Wuppertal, Birgitta Wolff, as well as Susane Menzel-Riedl from Osnabrück!”

The German Association of University Professors and Lecturers has granted this award for the 16th time. 3,055 researchers from the 33,000 members of the association participated in the online survey. For the ranking, researchers were asked if they see the individual holding the office in question as suitable candidate for managing the higher education institution. The survey participants could assign a school grade-type evaluation in a scheme of six choices ranging from “ideal individual” (grade 1, best) to “worst possible individual” (grade 6, worst). Only the rectors and presidents of higher education institutions who have received at least 30 evaluations and who have been in office for at least 100 days before the survey started were evaluated. The Zentrum für Evaluation und Methoden of the University of Bonn was responsible for the academic supervision and management of the ranking which included 54 higher education institutions.

The detailed result will be published in the March issue of the “Forschung & Lehre” magazine. It is also available