Enhance the Quality of Studies at BTU

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On March 13th, two weeks before the start of the new semester, the student body of the international heritage master programs (WHS/HCSM) was informed that the contract of one of the key professors in the field of Cultural Heritage Management has not been prolonged. Thus, the position of the chair will be left vacant for the summer semester at least. This decision was made without any further explanations and without any solutions for the consequential negative results of it.

Those negative consequences are amongst others, but not limited to:
* 3 practice-oriented study projects have been cancelled completely without comparable replacements. The study projects were to take place with external organizations so that the short-term withdrawal will affect not only the reputation of the university but also our own reputations as future prospects for employment.
* 2 courses have been cancelled without any replacements.
* Another 3 courses might be cancelled. The university stated they are trying to find solutions but have not yet provided any.
* People who already had registered their Master Thesis will have to find someone else to supervise and thus, have to accommodate new structures and might even need to start afresh.
* Some courses will be provided by different lecturers than intended who now have to improvise because of lack of preparation time.

This might lead to some people not being able to finish the program due to prolonged studies and monetary implications. Furthermore, the university does not provide the teaching as according to the course manual and thus are required to ensure.

The two responsible officials of the university, the dean of the faculty Prof. Dr. Markus Otto and the president of the university Prof. Dr. Joerg Steinbach, did not involve the students affected in the decision making. Furthermore, clear and transparent communication was not given. The decision must have been made already in advance and not only two weeks before the start of the new semester as communicated. Consequently, they had sufficient time to provide a different solution. As they did not do so, we ask them to reinstall Dr. Britta Rudolff or an equivalently competent substitute to ensure the quality and quantity of our courses. Another option might be to employ Britta Rudolff on an external basis at least for the promised study projects to save the reputation of the university, the program and of our graduates. 

Additionally, we require the president of the university to state for whose best interest this decision was made. Moreover, we request a clearly lined out explaining why the decision was made and a plan for future endeavors of the university.

This situation is undermining all integrity and credibility of the institution because it is reducing the professional level of the university in the field of heritage in the face of all stakeholders at an international level.  

We are prepared to enforce our rights if needed with medial pressure and legal measures. To proceed legal action we need as much support as possible, therefore we kindly ask you to sign this petition.