100 days in office - Interview with Dean Prof. Dr. Christian Hofmann

26 Feb 2024

Prof. Dr. Christian Hofmann has now been in office as Dean for just over 100 days. We wanted to know what has already been tackled during this time and what he still wants to get off the ground for Munich School of Management.

Prof. Dr. Christian Hofmann has now been in office as Dean for just over 100 days. We wanted to know what has already been tackled during this time and what he still wants to get off the ground for Munich School of Management. What is important to him in the collaboration? Dean Prof. Dr. Christian Hofmann answered our questions.

1. Mr. Hofmann, how was your start in the office of dean?
The great support I have received from so many sides has made my start easy.

2. Describe SOM in three words.
Diverse - Innovative - Successful.

3. What has been the biggest challenge in the last 100 days?
Balancing the many and varied responsibilities of the Dean's Office with my teaching commitments, my research teams and my family.

4. What has been the most exciting event so far?
Welcoming the students -- our new alumni -- and their families and friends in the large auditorium as part of the academic graduation ceremony. The festive setting, the happy and satisfied faces of the students and the proud looks on the faces of their relatives ... that is a very special event.

5. What is currently at the top of your desk?
A dissertation to be assessed. And a lot underneath.

6. What have you already initiated in the last 100 days?
We have spent a lot of time planning the Faculty's 50th anniversary celebrations this year: a faculty staff outing (now on March 5), a meeting day including a summer party on June 28 and a scientific symposium on November 28 - many guidelines had and still have to be set, but details also have to be decided. In addition, the modernization of our meeting room, the establishment of an ethics committee at the Faculty, the focus on the topic of sustainability in many areas ... there are many smaller and larger initiatives and activities that have been initiated.

7. What has been your most important learning so far?
The time planning for meetings should not be too ambitious. Discussions often take longer than expected.

8. What is important to you when working with the faculty staff?
Mutual respect and appreciation of each other's work and a trusting relationship. For me, it's about what we can achieve together as a faculty. And in the end, we all benefit when the light of the SOM shines a little brighter.

9. What motivates you?
Being able to work at an elite university with highly motivated people.

10. Which of your qualities helps you the most in your work as Dean?
I really appreciate working in teams and providing strategic impetus. And I definitely benefit from the wonderful teams we have in many places at SOM.

11. One hundred days is only a fraction of the entire term of office. What are your plans for the next year and a half in terms of strategy and content to ensure that SOM remains fit for the future?
I would like to focus even more on the topic of sustainability. Ecological sustainability has been an extremely important personal concern of mine for years. However, our options as a faculty are limited here, as we can't simply install photovoltaic systems on our buildings, for example. In contrast, we can influence social sustainability. For example, the question arises as to how we can create a healthy working and learning environment in order to strengthen health resources and enable a healthy work-life balance for our researchers, academic support staff and students. I firmly believe that socially sustainable action at all levels can help to promote everyone's enjoyment of being part of our faculty and create an inspiring and appreciative working environment. This will make our faculty as a whole even more attractive for researchers, employees and students.

12. What do you expect to be the biggest challenge during your term of office?
I don't currently see any external challenges that we can't overcome. This also applies to all issues relating to ChatGPT, for example. We are also in a great position internally and, in my opinion, work together very constructively at all levels. So I guess I'll come back to my answer to question 3.

13: When your term of office ends in just under two years: What wish should have been fulfilled by then?
That we have made even more progress with what we have in common and what unites us at the Faculty.

And finally, a few personal questions so that we can get to know you better:

14. What do you look forward to most when you arrive at your workplace in the morning?
Seeing the mountains from my fifth-floor window. And meeting my great and highly motivated team.

15. Do you prefer coffee or tea?
Definitely coffee.

16. Where do you prefer to spend your time at the university?
In K43 - it's almost part of the university.

17. Do you have a secret vice?
One ...? And I want to keep it a secret. ??

18. What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
To switch off at the weekend.

19. What do you do to get stress under control?
I have to exercise, by cycling, jogging, ski touring, hiking or mountaineering. Sitting still is not really my strong point, except when I'm poring over my research projects.

20. What did you want to be as a child?

Thank you very much, Prof. Hofmann, for taking the time for this interview.