Program to develop a culture of leadership at Mainz University receives award by the German Donors’ Association

The Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany and the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation give EUR 400,000 in funding to the Shaping Change - Developing a Culture of Leadership at JGU project

09.12.2010

The Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany and the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation have accepted Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), along with the universities of Frankfurt, Munich, and Rosenheim, into their Shaping Change program. The program aims to strengthen the autonomy of universities, promoting individual initiative and responsibility among students, lecturers and other employees for the development of the university and supporting culture change within the institution. In particular, the program aims at the development of approaches whereby members of the university community can be integrated into the processes of institutional change. A total of 21 universities and 23 universities of applied sciences took part in the competition. In the final round, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz won through with its project entitled Shaping Change – Developing a Culture of Leadership at JGU." Mainz University will receive EUR 400,000 over the next two years in order to implement the concept. "We promote active autonomy. The universities selected all have impressive approaches for involving all members of the university community in the process of change within their institution and together driving forward the change in culture required," says Volker Meyer-Guckel, acting General Secretary of the Donors' Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany.

As a learning organization, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has been shaping its own changes for over ten years and has received several awards for its efforts, including the 2002 Best Practice University award from the Center for Higher Education Development. "The processes of change at JGU are based on two basic pillars: the participation of all members of the university and the expertise of a modern body of experts. This requires a culture of leadership that on the one hand specifically encourages those within leadership roles to take on responsibility, and on the other hand creates consensus through successful negotiation. We see the introduction of a culture of leadership at JGU as the right way to approach this," says Vice President for Learning and Teaching at JGU, Professor Dr. Mechthild Dreyer. "Our aim is to achieve sustainable further development and be able to act effectively.  JGU can only progress with structural changes when the members of the university community have absorbed and built into their thinking and behavior our guidelines for participation and expertise."

The Shaping Change – Developing a Culture of Leadership at JGU project extends over two years and is part of the university's human resources development program. The project aims to develop a model of leadership that is specific to JGU, integrating this into the existing leadership development program at the university and, finally, implementing JGU Leadership in other areas of human resources development at the university. The project will be subject to ongoing evaluation and a final evaluation of its results, with the aim of developing the concept further and ensuring that its implementation can be sustained beyond the close of the project.

The Chancellor of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Götz Scholz, sees the Shaping Change – Developing a Culture of Leadership at JGU project as yet another part of the systematic drive for modernization and profile building at the university. "The development of a culture of leadership at JGU is centered on the basic pillars of expertise and participation and represents yet another important step in the direction of autonomous capability. To this end, staff with management responsibility should be enabled to react flexibly to the internal dynamics of the system and to encourage constructive dynamics within that system. By transferring the leadership model to other areas of human resources development, we hope it will become a fixed element of the cultural development of JGU."