Leadership at RWTH


Reflecting our values and goals as an institution, the leadership culture at RWTH provides important guidelines for our activities in research, teaching, and administration. Good leadership is a prerequisite for excellent performance in research, teaching and learning, contributes to maintaining the wellbeing and good health of our staff, supports staff development, and helps foster a spirit of community at our University.

The roles of leaders at RWTH are manifold – they are experts in their field, strategists, staff developers, communicators, organizational developers, and change managers. We support our managers and executives in these roles by offering a wide range of continuing education offerings, consulting, and individual coaching. A set of guidelines for managers, which is permanently updated and therefore only available online, provides an overview of topics, contact persons, guidelines, and responsibilities for leaders at RWTH.

In order to assist leaders new to their managerial responsibilities, they must attend the Leading at RWTH Workshop. All leaders in a permanent contract will complete the Leading Certificate or the RWTH Leadership Certificate for University Instructors. For more information, please visit the website of the Center for Professional Leadership (CPL).

The framework for leadership at RWTH is our Leadership Principle, which was adopted in 2018.


Key Leadership Principle

Leadership at RWTH seeks to inspire our staff, to empower them to initiate new developments and create optimal framework conditions in order to facilitate outstanding performance in research and teaching.


Leadership Principles 

  • To foster a culture of tolerance that respects the personality and life situation of each individual
  • To adhere to equal opportunities principles in the recruitment process and in the support of talent
  • To ensure that overarching goals are clearly and transparently communicated
  • To align the strategic goals of each institutional unit with those of the University and with the development goals of the unit’s employees
  • To create framework conditions that are in line with the University’s provisions and guidelines
  • To lead and supervise staff in a way that takes specific situations and individual needs into account
  • To both challenge and support staff members
  • To delegate responsibility and create leeway for staff to work independently
  • To reflect one’s own actions and encourage staff to provide feedback

We at RWTH cultivate a diverse corporate culture and value diversity among our staff. These principles apply at the executive level as well: Within the scope given by the University’s goals, values, and leadership guidelines, executives are encouraged to further develop their skills and capabilities, develop their own strategies on how to best manage their responsibilities, and actively define their role as a leader.

Leadership at RWTH can be seen as an interplay between leadership responsibilities in management and human resources and the requirements posed by organizational goals, values, and strategies. The success of our managers and executives is measured based on the impact of their actions.