University Council

Overview of the development of the university

The University Council guides the university, takes on responsibility for strategic considerations and decides on plans for structure and development at the university. It also proposes measures that serve to enhance the university’s profile and further develop the university’s performance and competitive capacities. The University Council also supervises the management of the Rectorate.

Responsibilities, meeting dates and further information
Prof. Dr. Dieter Jahn
Prof. Dr. Dieter Jahn

Chair: Professor Dr Dieter Jahn

Professor Dr Dieter Jahn managed the global competence center “Science Relations and Innovation Managment” of the BASF group. The chemist studied and completed his doctorate at the University of Stuttgart. He is a member of many committees, juries and innovation groups. He has been President of the German Chemical Society, is a member of the Investors Advisory Board of the High-Tech Gründerfonds, Senate Commission of the Helmholtz Association and the Chemistry Advisory Board of the University of Cambridge. In the past, Jahn has worked for programmes of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Stifterverband, the German Council of Science and Humanities, and in advisory groups and technical committees on the national and international level.


Prof. Dr. Ute Frevert
Prof. Dr. Ute Frevert

Professor Dr Ute Frevert

Ute Frevert teaches Modern History in Berlin, Konstanz and Bielefeld. She was professor at Yale University from 2003 to 2007. Since January 2008, she is director at the Berlin Max Planck Institute for Human Development where she leads the research area “Geschichte der Gefühle” (history of feelings).

Her core research areas: “Geschichte der Gefühle” (history of feelings), modern social and cultural history, gender history and modern history of politics. She was awarded the Leibniz Prize of the German Research Foundation (DFG) in 1998. 


Professor Dr Ulrike Landfester

Ulrike Landfester has been Professor for German Language and Literature at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) since 2003. Since 2011, she has been Vice Rector for international cooperation and regional extension From April 2004 until March 2012, Ulrike Landfester was a member in the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), since 2008 the president of the Specialised Committee on International Co-operation in the SNSF, and since 2009 vice president of the Research Council in the SNSF. She also represents the SNF in the Standing Committee for the Humanities der European Science Foundation since 2006.

Ulrike Landfester was born in 1962 in Soltau, Lower Saxony and started studying Archaeology and Egyptology in Freiburg im Brausgau. She then studied Modern German Literature and Medieval and English Literature at the Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU) Munich, where she completed her doctorate on Goethe's early work. Thereafter she worked as a academic staff member at the universities of Marburg, Munich and Hamburg and completed her post-doctoral qualification (habilitation) in 1998 with a research project on the political work of Bettina von Arnims, also at the LMU Munich. After working as a visiting professor at the universities of Frankfurt am Main and Wien as well as filling in for Professor Dr Gerhart v. Graevenitz during his time as Rector of the University of Konstanz from 2001 to 2003, Ulrike Landfester was appointed in the spring of 2003 to a full professorship at the University of Frankfurt and in the same year at the University of St. Gallen (HSG).


Urs Schwager

Urs Schwager has directed the Amt für Mittel- und Hochschulen im Thurgau (office for secondary schools and universities in Thurgau) and is director of the Thurgauischen Stiftung für Wissenschaft und Forschung (Thurgau foundation for science and research). The foundation helps fund both An-Institutes (affiliated institutes) of the University of Konstanz, the Biotechnology Institute Thurgau (BITg) and the Thurgau Institute of Economics (TWI). Mr. Schwager is also a member of the university council of the University of Applied Sciences in St. Gallen.

After studying English, Education and Journalism as the University of Zurich, he was earned the higher education teacher Diplom (university degree qualification). Until taking the position as director, he was head teacher at the Kantonsschule Frauenfeld (secondary school).


Prof. em. Dr. René Schwarzenbach
Prof. em. Dr. René Schwarzenbach

Professor em. Professor Dr René Schwarzenbach

Professor René Schwarzenbach is the third member of the University Council to come from Switzerland. He is retired professor for environmental chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich). He currently serves as a delegate for sustainability at the ETH Zurich and director of the Competence Center Environment and Sustainability CCES at the ETH.

René Schwarzenbach studied, earned his doctorate and his completed his post-doctoral qualification (habilitation) at the ETH Zurich. In 1992 he together with his colleagues received the Körber European Science Prize. He became a member in the ISI Highly Cited Researchers Database in 2000, and in 2001 was awarded the SETAC Environmental Education Award. He co-wrote the textbook "Environmental Organic Chemistry” that received the book of the year award in 1994 from the Association of American Publishers. It has become the standard reference in in organic environmental chemistry.


Ursula Schwarzenbart

Ursula Schwarzenbart is Director of the Global Diversity Office at Daimler AG. Diversity management utilizes the diversity of employees in the company to support the company's success. From 1999 until 2001, Ursula Schwarzenbart was director of the human resources department for Mercedes-Benz passenger car development. She was the first female director in this department. Between 1995 and 1998 she was responsible for leading the project for a change-management process in the plant and advancing topics on culture change.

She was born in Hillesheim and studied Education at the University of Tübingen, where she received her Diplom (university degree qualification) in 1988. Thereafter she worked for Daimler in various positions in human resources. Among other things, she implemented the system for global performance enhancement and management-potential analysis of the company.

Currently Ursula Schwarzenbart’s goal is to raise the female leadership quota at Daimler to 20 percent by the year 2020. Further goals consist of the establishing of a generation-neutral corporate culture and the internationalisation of management. In this context, she conceived and initiated the child-care programme "sternchen”, which created 14 company locations for nursery schools. The manager is ensuring that Daimler, as one of the first signatory of the founding and enterprise initiative “Charta der Vielfalt” (diversity charter), will make significant contributions to the government project “Vielfalt als Chance” (diversity as a chance).


Cornelia Oesterhaus
Cornelia Oesterhaus

Cornelia Oesterhaus

Main office of the University Council and Head of the Rectorate Office


Advisory members