New Executive Board at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences

On 1 May 2015, Dr Heide Naderer began her term as the new President of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Kleve, Germany. After roughly 100 days in office – a time spent familiarising herself with the many facets of the university – Dr Naderer has announced new changes to the University’s top level of leadership and introduced a reorganised Executive Board with three new Vice-Presidents.

Kleve/Kamp-Lintfort, 3 September 2015: On 28 August 2015 the University Council of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences met and unanimously elected three new Vice-Presidents – all previously professors at the university – to form the new Executive Board. Dr Naderer, University President, and Bibiana Kemner, Vice-President for Finance and Human Resources, will be joined by Professor Dr Marion Halfmann as Vice-President for Studies, Teaching and Continuing Education;  Professor Dr habil. Jens Gebauer as Vice-President for Research and Knowledge Transfer; and Professor Dr Georg Hauck as Vice-President for Personnel and Organisational Development and Diversity.

Bibiana Kemner

Bibiana Kemner first assumed her duties as Vice-President for Finance and Human Resources at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in May 2014. Ms Kemner, who is an honorary judge at the Landessozialgericht (Superior State Social Court) of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, worked previously at the Ministry for Innovation, Science and Research (MIWF), before becoming the head of administration at the University. Ms Kemner oversees the financial management of the annual budget and is responsible for legal and administrative affairs at the University.

Ms Kemner has worked for the MIWF in various capacities since 1994. Before coming to the University, Ms Kemner had been Ministerialrätin, a top position at the MIWF, where she was instrumental in many areas relating to higher education in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to providing legal supervision for issues relating to university law in general and legal support for universities in the Rhineland region in particular, Ms Kemner was also heavily involved with state laws on university admissions and eligibility, the ministry’s state-wide internationalisation strategy for higher education, university-sponsored sport in the state, and the development of strategic management tools.

A native of Recklinghausen, in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ms Kemner began her career with the study of German, English, history and law. In 1989 she graduated from the University of Muenster with a degree in German Law, followed by a degree in European Law from Saarland University. After successfully completing a two year legal clerkship and preparation programme (Referendariat) and working for a time as a judge in the Landgericht Dortmund, in 1994 Ms Kemner transitioned to a position in government, working as a Regierungsrätin, or senior civil servant, at the Ministry of Science and Research in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Professor Dr Marion Halfmann

Professor Dr Marion Halfmann’s calling can be best described as the study of successful marketing tactics for products and services. Her areas of expertise include, in particular, methods and strategies for innovative market communication in dialogue and online marketing, and analysis of market and consumer behaviour.

Born and raised in Altena, in the southern Sauerland region of North Rhine-Westphalia, Prof Halfmann earned a degree in Business and Economics Education at the University of Cologne. She remained at the university for her postgraduate studies, working as a researcher for the university while simultaneously pursuing a doctorate. In 1996 she was awarded her PhD for her research into the flow of goods in operational production and quantitative, environmentally sound planning strategies. After a sojourn at the University of California, Berkeley, Prof Halfmann worked for several years as a business consultant at Simon Kucher & Partners as well as at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Returning to academia, Prof Halfmann became a professor at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in April 2004, where she remained until September 2012 when she joined Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences as Professor of Business Administration with a special focus on Marketing and Market-oriented Management. Since 2013 Prof Halfmann has been a member of the University Senate and the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Society and Economics in Kleve, and was elected as the new dean of the faculty in March 2015.

As the Executive Board’s new Vice-President for Studies, Teaching and Continuing Education, Prof Halfmann will be responsible for monitoring teaching quality and study conditions and implementing new improvement measures, as well as for developing new academic support systems across the university to help students succeed in their studies.

Professor Dr habil. Jens Gebauer

An expert understanding of botany and horticulture and a steadfast dedication to interdisciplinary, regional and international collaboration are what define Professor Dr habil. Jens Gebauer’s approach to applied teaching and research.

The Berlin-native began his career with the study of horticultural science at the Humboldt University in Berlin, followed by a postgraduate studies in agricultural science at the University College Dublin. Prof Gebauer returned to the Humboldt University, earning his PhD in Environmental Physiology in 2003. His innate affinity for (wild) fruit and exotic species of trees drew him to Africa, to Sudan in particular, where he spent two years as project manager for the Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) and played an integral role in the development of complex sustainable land use systems.

In 2005 Prof Gebauer returned to Germany and joined the University of Kassel as a researcher and lecturer in the Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences. There he made applied, real-world topics in the environmental and life sciences a continued focus in his research and teaching, exploring topics such as climate change, salinity and nutrient cycles, among others. During that time period he also conducted numerous botanic field studies on genetic resources at various locations around the world, from Sudanese home gardens in Africa, to mountain oases in Oman on the Arabian Peninsula.

Prof Gebauer’s research findings have been published many times in peer-reviewed journals, and he has presented them at many academic conferences as well. In 2008 he collected his findings into a habilitation thesis, earning the highest academic honour for scholars in Germany. Prof Gebauer remained at the University of Kassel as a senior lecturer and researcher from 2009 onwards.

In September 2011 Prof Gebauer left Kassel and came to Kleve and Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences as the university’s Professor of Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems with a special focus on Horticulture. He also represents the prestigious Alexander von Humbolt Foundation in an official capacity at the university. Since 2013 Prof Gebauer has been responsible for managing the university’s greenhouse and open-air garden on campus.

As the new Vice-President for Research and Knowledge, Prof Gebauer will be responsible for promoting the establishment of new cross-faculty research  fields and the development of custom-tailored support and service offers for professors and researchers at the university. In addition, Prof Gebauer will be the official representative of the university’s sport and music programmes.

Professor Dr Georg Hauck

Born and raised in the sunny wine country of Rhineland-Palatinate, Professor Dr Georg Hauck’s background begins with a vocational apprenticeship to become a bookseller, later going on to work at a publisher of children’s books for several years. After successfully earning a degree in psychology from the University of Koblenz-Landau, Prof Hauck remained in academia and began his research into the processes of multimedia learning and into innovative methods for integrating e-learning technology into teacher training programmes in Germany. He worked until 2003 as a researcher in the Faculty of Psychology at the University of Koblenz-Landau and earned his PhD in 2004 with his research on the effects of modality preferences have on multimedia learning. Afterwards he worked as a researcher in the Faculty of Media Studies at the University of Education Weingarten, Germany, before deciding to tackle new challenges as an independent consultant in the healthcare industry. During this time he also assumed various lecturer positions at universities in Ludwigsburg, Cologne and Berlin.

As a consultant, Prof Hauck’s main focus was on measuring the satisfaction of customers and employees in the hospital sector, then using these levels of satisfaction to design and develop complex organisational processes and structures. To this day, Prof Hauck enjoys engaging in research projects with a similar dynamic, in particular exploring how people learn and how to optimally shape learning processes for different contexts.

Prof Hauck is also an active member of the Association of German Professional Psychologists (BDP) and the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI).

As Professor of Communication Psychology and Organisational Consulting, Prof Hauck first came to Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in March 2012. In addition to teaching and research, since 2013 he has played an active role in the self-governance of the university as both a member of the Senate and the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Communication and Environment in Kamp-Lintfort.

As the new Vice-President for Personnel and Organisation Development and Diversity, Prof Hauck’s areas of responsibility will include the selection and hiring of new employees, ensuring advanced training and continuing education opportunities for employees, overseeing quality management, and promoting diversity across all areas of the university.