ETH expands its leadership structure

ETH Zurich is adopting a new leadership structure: the number of Executive Board domains is being expanded from five to seven in order to respond to the growing demands in leadership and staff development, as well as in knowledge transfer and corporate relations.

ETH Zurich is expanding, and the challenges facing the university’s leadership are becoming increasingly complex. The Executive Board has comprised five members since 2008. Now the Executive Board has accepted a proposal by ETH President Joël Mesot to strengthen the Board and reorganise its key areas of responsibility. The university’s further development will therefore involve three new areas: personnel development; knowledge transfer and corporate relations; and the independent management of the academic departments.

The Executive Board of ETH Zurich (Photograph: ETH Zurich / Markus Bertschi)

Enhancing leadership – promoting women

Since taking up office at the start of the year, the President’s stated goal has been to strengthen staff development at all levels. For this reason, all areas devoted to the recruitment and professional development of staff and managers will be concentrated under a new, additional Executive Board member. “Personnel and leadership issues have become increasingly important over the past years. We therefore came to the conclusion that our organisational structure should reflect this. By bundling these key resources, we can further improve leadership and development, while at the same time paying particular attention to the advancement of female employees,” says ETH President Mesot.

ETH as a major innovation driver in Switzerland

In recent years the number of ETH spin-offs has been steadily rising and the university has consciously stepped up its collaborations with large corporations and also with SMEs. Now an additional Executive Board domain is being created to ensure that ETH Zurich will continue to perform its key role in future as a major driver of innovation in Switzerland. The new domain will be devoted to knowledge transfer and corporate relations. Mesot: “ETH has a huge responsibility towards Swiss business and society as a whole. It therefore makes sense to concentrate our activity in this area, by adding another dedicated Executive Board member.” The existing Executive Board domain Research and Corporate Relations will focus on strategic guidance and promotion of research, an area that has become increasingly complex and demanding in in recent years due to rapid globalisation.

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