Professor Joybrato Mukherjee Becomes the New Rector of the University of Cologne

Headshot Joybrato Mukherjee © Wilke, DAAD

Professor Joybrato Mukherjee, President of Justus Liebig University Giessen, was elected by the members of the University Election Assembly to be the future Rector of the University of Cologne on 10 May 2023. Mukherjee will thus succeed Professor Axel Freimuth, who has held the office since 2005 and is no longer available for another term due to his age. The handover of office is planned in October 2023.

The University Election Assembly, half of which is made up of members of the University Senate and half of which is made up of members of the University Council, elected Mukherjee with an overwhelming majority – based on an election proposal by the Search Commission.

“I would like to thank the Search Commission and the University Election Assembly of the University of Cologne for the great trust placed in me,” Mukherjee said after the election. “I am very much looking forward to this new task at one of the largest German universities. I am equally pleased that this new task will take me back to my home, the Rhineland.”

Currently, Professor Joybrato Mukherjee is President of Justus Liebig University Giessen, the second largest university in Hesse. Since 2020, Mukherjee has also been the honorary president of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the world’s largest funding organization for international academic exchange, based in Bonn on the Rhine.

“With Professor Mukherjee, we have gained a distinguished university academic and leader to represent the University of Cologne. He brings experience leading both a university rich in tradition and one of the most important funding organizations in Germany. There is hardly anyone else who advocates internationalization in higher education like he does,” says Dr Richard Pott, Chairman of the University Council and the Search Committee.

“I warmly congratulate Professor Dr Mukherjee on his election and wish him every success and happiness in his new office,” says Professor Freimuth on the election.

Personal details:

Professor Dr Joybrato Mukherjee (born 1973) has been President of Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) since 2009. Before that, he was already a member of the Presidential Board as First Vice President. From 2012 to 2019 he also held the office of Vice President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and since 2020 he has been the honorary President of the DAAD. He is a member of a number of scientific advisory boards and boards of trustees, including various non-university research institutions.

Professor Mukherjee, an Indian by birth, grew up in the Rhineland. He is a fully qualified secondary school teacher. He completed his studies in English, Biology and Education at RWTH Aachen University in 1997. In 2000 he received his doctorate at the University of Bonn; here he also completed his habilitation in 2003 and was awarded the venia legendi for English Philology. In the same year, he was appointed as a professor of English Linguistics at the JLU Giessen. Despite several further offers, including from Zurich and Salzburg, he remained at JLU Giessen.

Professor Mukherjee’s research focuses on computer-based corpus linguistics, applied linguistics, English syntax and variety research. Numerous research and teaching visits have taken him to various universities abroad.

Read the article on the website of the University of Cologne.