In the jury’s view, Gien displayed participative team leadership, transparency, communication and appreciative interaction. These qualities helped her successfully develop a shared vision and coherent strategy for the KU and anchor it in a committed transformation process. In 2020, the KU's Management had already made the TOP-20 of the competition - partly due to its successful management during the coronavirus pandemic. The winner or winners will be publicly announced during the "ZEIT für Bildung" theme days on October 6, 2021.
A central concern of the competition is to recognize the importance and the achievements of outstanding university leaders and to bring them to public attention. "All nominees have led their respective and very distinct universities to a very good place in recent years with just the right balance of leadership, delegation, participation and open communication, the facts go to show that. The past year has also shown that universities must be capable of change in order to stay resilient in crises. Now, what is vital to us is not to fall back into old patterns, but to use the experience of the pandemic. In this regard, the nominees are on a very good path," says Frank Ziegele, managing director of the CHE and a member of the jury.
President Gien - as the jury points out - has given the University a profile that puts people first, which is also reflected in her leadership style: "It is important for her to always convey why decisions were made the way they were. Leadership style and the University are a great fit." Personal relationship management and value-oriented leadership that focuses on people and their strengths are reflected in the leadership guidelines and shape the way the University sees itself. President Gien herself says that she wants "above all to continue a people-oriented culture of digital teaching, learning and working."
The Bavarian Science Minister Bernd Sibler congratulates Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien on her nomination: "The University Manager of the Year Award recognizes university presidents who have had a decisive influence on positive change at their university. This certainly applies to Prof. Dr. Gien. During her first term in office, a new Foundation constitution was put into effect, which now gives the University even greater scope for its academic work. The successful acquisition of DFG funding, the favorable outcome in the state and Länder program for the promotion of young researchers, as well as in the Bavarian-wide AI competition go to show that this was the right decision. The KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt with its particularly good student-to-teacher ratio offers a very good study environment for its students as well as for researchers and enjoys great popularity among both groups. The nomination is a great recognition and well-deserved acknowledgement of her work. I would like to congratulate Professor Gien most warmly on this occasion."
The CHE award winners are determined by way of a multi-stage selection procedure. In a first step, this is an indicator-based pre-selection of universities with particularly positive development dynamics compared to other universities. In a second step, there are interviews with all the presidents of the universities identified in step one. In addition, in this second step, the CHE interviews peers of the respective university manager - that is to say university council chairpersons and vice presidents as well as the chancellors. Finally, taking all the results into account, in a third step a jury of recognized experts selects a group of up to six finalists as "University Manager of the Year".