Rubrik: Campus Life
ETH Executive Board's New Year's aperitif in HPH
Published: 19.01.2006 06:00
Modified: 18.01.2006 21:43
For the third time since 2004 the members of the ETH'x Executive Board invited the ETH community to a New Year's aperitif in the physics' building on Campus Hönggerberg. The chance to mingle and talk to people from all levels was marked this year by the newly appointed Board members, Ernst Hafen as ETH President and Dimos Poulikakos as Vice-President Research.
If the accompanying musical entertainment of the now traditional New Year's aperitif can be seen to reflect something of the newly formed Board of the university, then we would have to expect a tremendous impulse towards multi-tasking, further a breakneck speed and the will of never playing second fiddle. "Les Papillons", a.k.a. Giovanni Reber (violin) and Michael Giertz (piano), incorporate all this in all their arrangements. In a masterly performance and at a horrendous speed they flitted backwards and forwards between classical, chanson and popular tunes. False modesty is not their style; a theatrical pathos also makes their performances an unforgettable optical experience.Momentum of regeneration
Naturally, the comparison with the powers that be at ETH Zurich cannot be sustained. Nonetheless, at the aperitif on the 9th January the ETH Executive Board proved that it intends to take advantage of the change in the Board's composition to lead the university in various fields into the future with invigorating momentum.
Ernst Hafen, who succeeded Olaf Kübler at the helm of ETH Zurich a little over a month ago, recalled the aims already set out in his inaugural message on taking over the presidency: In order to maintain ETH's high international profile as a top university, teaching and the rising generation of young scientists and engineers must be strengthened. The importance that Hafen accords to nurturing new blood is borne out, among other things, by the change in the status of the ETH Office for Equal Opportunity, which is now directly responsible to the president. A further aim has to do with financing: Ernst Hafen wants to increase the university's financial flexibility by mobilising more third party funding. In addition, the transfer of knowledge to industry is to be intensified. "I would like to strengthen the spirit of entrepreneurship among the student body," said the president. "I was especially pleased at the high rate of ETH participation in the latest "Venture" competition, he added.Web log for ETH strategy
Finally, channels of communication are to be reinforced, not only intern ones but also those that link ETH Zurich to the political establishment and the public as a whole. In particular, means of communication are to be harnessed to make ETH more visible and more audible in an international context. Executive Board retreats, soon to be held, are to clearly define all these plans and ETH students and staff will be able to join in this undertaking via a web log to be set up before the end of January. "As a result of this consultative process, by the end of the summer semester, we will have a strategy paper and can begin putting the results into practice during the second half of the year," said Hafen.
The second newcomer to the ETH Executive Board, Dimos Poulikakos, described the year that had just commenced as a very important one for ETH research. The new Vice-President Research intends to scrutinise current structures over the coming months. "We want to ensure that we have the best possible framework for the future," said Poulikakos.Fight against passive smoking
Gerhard Schmitt, Vice-President Planning and Logistics, is setting great store on the formulation of a development strategy for the university by the end of the year. "Likewise, this year is to see an end to passive smoking at ETH," announced Schmitt to the audible surprise–probably from the listening smokers. ETH Rector Konrad Osterwalder expressed his hope that 2006 would bring everyone at ETH "a fruitful union of fundamental know-how and engineering ingenuity that would produce the maximum number of exciting results".