The Canton of Bern Executive Council has appointed Markus Brönnimann as the new Administrative Director of the University of Bern. Brönnimann had been nominated for the appointment by the University of Bern’s senate. As of June 1, 2019, he succeeds Daniel Odermatt, who passed away in July 2018.
Following the sudden death of Administrative Director Daniel Odermatt in July 2018, the Executive Board of the University of Bern had to start looking for a successor. "It was important to us in the search to make sure that he or she would also fit in with us as a person," says Rector Christian Leumann. "We wanted to take enough time to do that." The successor has now been found: It's Markus Brönnimann (56), currently Head of the Real Estate Office at the Canton of Zurich's Building Department. Markus Brönnimann is a citizen of Belp, and he currently lives in Herisau. He was the Administrative Director of the University of St. Gallen from 2006 to 2015. Prior to that, Brönnimann worked in the private sector, among other things as a Senior Project Manager at Malik Management Zentrum St. Gallen, where he led and conducted consulting and training projects in the areas of strategy, organization, processes and effective leadership. Markus Brönnimann graduated from the University of St. Gallen in 1989 with a degree in economics (lic. oec. HSG, organization), and gained the qualification for Pro-Rectors at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2014.
As Administrative Director of the University of St. Gallen, Brönnimann managed the growth of the university from 5,000 to 8,000 students and was responsible, among other things, for the conception and introduction of planning and control tools in the areas of project management, strategy and medium-term planning. As Administrative Director of the University of Bern, Markus Brönnimann will have access to a large network in industry, education and politics. He also worked for several years as a consultant in an international environment and various industries.
Brönnimann has been a member of the Cantonal Council of Appenzell Ausserrhoden since 2014. He is married and has two grown-up children.
As the former Administrative Director of the HSG, Brönnimann is particularly looking forward to working for an academic institution again: "This is a privilege – you have contacts with people who are at the forefront of their field. But I am also looking forward to working with political authorities, because we can achieve a great deal together". Brönnimann would like to support the University of Bern preserving its freedom to act, as well as a good infrastructure in research and teaching and efficient administrative services. The students are also very important to Brönnimann: "Students are not just 'customers', they are the university’s citizens, who help shape it and fill it with life." Students can therefore expect a sympathetic ear from Brönnimann – but it is also important to clarify the mutual expectations: "Not everyone’s wishes and needs can be fulfilled. That’s the economic reality".