Kostenlos abonnieren

Werden Sie regelmäßig per E-Mail über neue Ausgaben der campuls informiert. Sie können Ihr kostenloses Abo jederzeit einfach online über den Abmeldelink im Newsletter kündigen.

Weitere Infos zu Datenschutz & Widerrufsrecht finden Sie hier.

“Everything has its time!” – Chancellor Dagmar Pechstein leaves office

Change in one of the most important personnel matters at Hof University of Applied Sciences: Dagmar Pechstein, the university’s long-time chancellor, is ending her professional career and moving into semi-retirement. She was now honored by university president Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann and some close colleagues during a pandemic celebration in a small circle. Dagmar Pechstein held the office since 2003. A decision on a successor has not yet been made.

Flowers and lots of applause: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann expressed his heartfelt thanks to his long-time companion (Photo: Hof University of Applied Sciences);

“To every thing there is a season, and to every purpose under heaven there is an hour” – with this thoughtful biblical saying from the Old Testament, Dagmar Pechstein began and ended her humorous and whimsical farewell speech. Visibly touched, but also full of anticipation for the coming life, she had previously looked back on her almost 19 years of work as the person responsible for finances, construction, personnel and real estate of the educational institution. At the celebration in the Hof “Klangmanufaktur”, which was framed by singer Max Dollinger and pianist Wolfgang Skill, only 20 people from the closest environment were allowed to participate according to the applicable regulations under 2G rules.

Appreciation by university president

At the beginning, university president and companion Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann paid detailed tribute to Dagmar Pechstein

With her, our university loses a thoroughly reliable and loyal person as well as an excellent lawyer. Dagmar Pechstein played a major role in shaping the university and its image today. Our cooperation could hardly have been better overall.”

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Jürgen Lehmann

Dream of becoming a judge bursts because of love

After graduating from the Jean-Paul-Gymnasium in 1979, the Hofer native was drawn to study law at the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen. “I didn’t even know that there was already such a thing as a university chancellor there, and I certainly wouldn’t have known what he did,” Dagmar Pechstein admitted with a laugh. After her two state law examinations in 1984 and 1988, however, her desire to become a judge in Hof initially failed – and that was due to love: With her husband Hans Pechstein, she had married a Hof lawyer, of all people, which ruled out employment as a judge in the same place. But then a neighbor drew Dagmar Pechstein’s attention to the recently founded “Beamtenfachhochschule”, today’s Bavarian University of Public Service. The young lawyer seized the opportunity and taught there from 1990 to 1992. Later, she went to the district administration office in Hof, where she was a government councilor with about 50 employees and was responsible for the topics of disaster control, fire department and security.

Starting at “Beamtenfachhochschule”

“After that, however, I quickly went back to the civil service college, to the office of a certain Dr. Lehmann in the private law department,” says Dagmar Pechstein about her first encounter with the later college president. There, she says today, she experienced a lot of joy in teaching and in working with students. After ten years, however, Dr. Lehmann changed and went to the young Hof University of Applied Sciences as university president. When he was finally looking for a new chancellor there, Prof. Dr. Lehmann’s eye fell on his former colleague. But accepting the offer and applying was not easy for Dagmar Pechstein: “I wasn’t exactly on fire. On the contrary, I was not sure whether I could do justice to the office and its requirements,” Dagmar Pechstein confessed. With her husband’s encouragement, however, she took the plunge and, after passing the selection process, became the first female chancellor of Hof University.

Enormous development experienced

Since then, she calculated, she has now witnessed far more than 200 meetings of the university management and has been able to accompany many changes. One of the first decisions in 2003 was the introduction of a smoking ban at the university – from which, however, the offices were exempt, Pechstein said with a smile. All in all, he says, it was difficult to learn the ropes, and it took more than a year for a little routine to set in

A university is very complex, much more complex than a district office or a city hall, for example.”

Dagmar Pechstein

Although the administration is hierarchically structured, teaching is free, and not least because of this tension, there are automatically points of friction, said the outgoing chancellor. Overall, however, everyone can be proud of the development of Hof University today. “In particular, the fact that we now have over 3800 students and over 1000 of them from the international sector is a fact that no one would have reckoned with when I started my job. The fact that we can now offer almost 50 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs is also outstanding,” said the university chancellor. By way of comparison, Dagmar Pechstein presented figures from 2004: at that time, there were 1,600 students in just 9 degree programs at Hof, of which 750 students alone were in the then Department of Economics. The budget has grown from EUR 8 million to around EUR 40 million today.

A carefully chosen exit

Ultimately, however, she is now leaving at the right time and with a good feeling: “My departure is well chosen. Every organization has to adapt and change. This also applies to the classic job description of the university chancellor. Today, competence in digitalization and an entrepreneurial mindset are at least as necessary as legal knowledge,” says Pechstein. In the end, what remained were many valuable encounters with people, but also festive highlights such as various building dedications or the university’s 10th anniversary celebration, during which the Hof Symphony Orchestra performed “Carmina Burana” on campus. She would also forever remember the university’s 25th anniversary or even a trip to India to visit Hof’s university partners. “I am now happy to hand over the responsibility and wish the entire university family all the best for the future,” concluded Dagmar Pechstein to long-lasting applause.

Impressions of the farewell

Rainer Krauß

Weitere Themen