The University Council is the supreme decision-making and supervisory organ of the University of Basel. It bears full responsibility for managing the university, for the realization of the performance mandate from the supporting cantons as well as budget compliance.
Members of the University Council
The University Council is comprised of eleven individuals who represent society and politics, education and science, economics and culture. The cantonal governments of Basel-Landschaft and Basel-Stadt each elect five members. One member is nominated by the Senate of the University and elected by both governments. The term of office for the University Council spans the duration of each performance mandate of the University and is currently from 2018 to 2021.
Dr. Beat Oberlin, President
Dr. Beat Oberlin, born in 1955, studied law at the University of Basel, where he also obtained his doctorate. In 1982, he was admitted as a lawyer and notary in the canton of Solothurn. He has also completed management training at Stanford University.
From 2005 to 2016, he was CEO of Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank. He previously worked for over 20 years at UBS in a number of roles: as Head of Retail and Head of Corporate Clients in the Basel region, as Chief of Staff, and as Head of Market and Sales Management Business Banking Switzerland.
Beat Oberlin is a board member of the St. Clara Group and the Swissquote Group. He has been president of the Kammerorchester Basel since 2017, and is a member of both the federal expert group Zukunft Finanzplatz and the board of trustees of the Thomi Hopf Foundation. Until 2016, he was a member of the governing body of the Association of Swiss Cantonal Banks and a board member of the Association of Basel Banks.
Beat Oberlin has been president of the University Council since 2020.
Dr. Sibylle Schürch, Vice President
Dr. Sibylle Schürch, born in 1968, studied law in Zurich and Basel, obtained her doctorate at the Basel Chair of Criminal Law and Philosophy of Law and continued her education with postgraduate studies in the fields of management and media relations.
Today, Sibylle Schürch works as an entrepreneur/consultant and is a member of the board of directors of the University Psychiatric Services Bern (UPD). Professionally, she was managing director of TagesWoche until 2018. Prior to this, she held various management positions in the healthcare sector, including at the Hirslanden Group and as Head of HR University Hospital Basel.
From 1997 to 2006, she was a member of the Basel-Stadt Cantonal Parliament and held management positions in the Basel-Stadt Social Democratic Party.
Sibylle Schürch has been a member of the University Council since 2004.
Dr. Kathrin Amacker
Dr. Kathrin Amacker, born in 1962, studied pharmacy at the Faculty of Science at the University of Basel and obtained her doctorate in 1990.
From 2013 to 2020 she was a member of the Corporate Executive Committee at SBB AG, responsible for communications, politics, strategic marketing, sustainability and university collaborations. Prior to that she was Head of Communications and member of the Corporate Executive Committee at Swisscom AG. From 1990 to 2010 she has held management functions at Ciba-Geigy and Novartis in the field of production, development and human resources. She has been the first President of the Novartis Employee Representative Council and Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Pension Fund.
She was politically active for many years, e.g., as President of the Christian Democratic Party Baselland, member of the city council in Binningen, board member of CVP Switzerland and as member of the Swiss Parliament. She is President of Regio Basiliensis, member of the Board of Trustees of Merian Iselin Clinic and board member of the Swiss Museum of Transport.
Amacker has been a member of the University Council since 2014.
Dr. Christian Bosshard
Dr. Christian Bosshard, born in 1962, studied physics at ETH Zurich and obtained his doctorate there in 1991. He spent time in the US before returning to ETH, where he spent many years as a leading researcher. He was also an associate professor from 1998 to 2010.
From 2013 to 2021, he was Vice President of the CSEM (Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique), heading the Muttenz Center. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at CSEM as section head for Optics & Packaging. Christian Bosshard is also Managing Director of the Swiss network Swissphotonics and a member of the Board of Directors of EPIC, the world's largest industrial association in the field of photonics.
Christian Bosshard has been a member of the University Council since 2018.
Dr. Conradin Cramer
Dr. Conradin Cramer, LL.M., was born in 1979 and studied law at the University of Basel, the University of Freiburg in Germany and the University of California, Berkeley. From 2007 to 2017, he has been working as an attorney and civil law notary. From 2012, he has been a visiting lecturer for private law at the University of Basel.
He was a member of the Communal Parliament for the commune of Riehen and sat on the Cantonal Parliament of the Canton of Basel-Stadt for twelve years, serving as President from 2013–2014.
Since 2017, he has served as a member of the government of the Canton of Basel-Stadt and heads the Department of Education.
Conradin Cramer has been a member of the University Council since 2017.
Daniela Dolci Reidemeister
Born in Sicily, Daniela Dolci Reidemeister studied early music with a major in historic keyboard instruments at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel and with Gustav Leonhardt in Amsterdam.
She is a harpsichordist and leader of the Ensembles Musica Fiorita, which she founded in 1990. She plays in concerts, radio and TV in western and eastern Europe, Japan, South America and India and has made several recordings. She studies the rediscovery of Baroque composers, offers courses, gives lectures and is actively involved in the Association for the Promotion of the Work of Danilo Dolci. She is also committed to organizations that promote women’s causes and peace and has been honored for her work in these areas.
Dolci Reidemeister has been a member of the University Council since 2014.
Monica Gschwind, born in 1963, earned her federal certificate in accountancy after completion of her commercial diploma. In 1993, she founded her own accountancy company. She also worked as an auditing assistant at KMPG Fides Peat in Basel, which conducts audits for major companies.
Gschwind began her political career in 2000 as municipal councilor in Hölstein (Basel-Landschaft), and was elected municipal president in 2012. In 2010, she took a seat as member of the FDP group in the cantonal parliament of Basel-Stadt. During her time in parliament, she was a member of the personnel, auditing and finance committee in addition to holding a seat on the monitoring committee for financial control. She has also been a member of several boards, including the board of directors of the Sport- und Volksbad Gitterli (Liestal), the Waldenburgerbahn (Waldenburg) and the board of trustees of the Telebasel Foundation (Basel).
In February 2015, she was elected councilor of the canton of Basel-Landschaft and is director of Education, Culture and Athletics.
Monica Gschwind has been a member of the University Council since 2015.
Dr. Jürg Gutzwiller
Dr. Jürg Gutzwiller, born in 1957, studied German and history at the University of Basel, where he obtained his doctorate in 1991. He also completed a postgraduate degree in human resources at what is now the University of Applied Sciences in Olten.
He has been CEO of Entris Holding AG since 2014, and has worked there for more than 20 years. He also heads its subsidiary Entris Banking AG.
Jürg Gutzwiller is a member of the Board of Directors for the Swiss Bankers Association, Vice President of Arbeitgeber Banken (Employers Association of Banks in Switzerland) and President of the CYP Association. He has previously been involved in various educational institutions. He is guild master of E.E. Zunft zu Weinleuten in Basel and a former general staff officer in the Swiss army.
Jürg Gutzwiller has been a member of the University Council since 2018.
Prof. Dr. Otfried Jarren
Professor Otfried Jarren, born in 1953, studied media and communications, political science, ethnology and sociology at the University of Münster. He then worked as a research assistant and as director of the continuing education program in journalism at Freie Universität Berlin, before becoming a professor of journalism and political science at the University of Hamburg in 1989.
He has been a professor of media and communications at the University of Zurich since 1997, where he was also Vice President of Arts and Social Sciences from 2008 to 2016. He is currently President of the Federal Media Commission and, in addition to his teaching duties in Zurich, has an honorary professorship in media and communications studies at Freie Universität Berlin. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
Otfried Jarren has been a member of the University Council since 2018.
Dr. Gottlieb A. Keller
Dr. Gottlieb A. Keller was born in 1954 and studied at the Faculty of Law at the University of Basel and at the universities in Hong Kong and Singapur.
He was a member of the Corporate Executive Committee from 2003 to 2020 and General Counsel of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd from 2008 to 2020. He began his career in the legal department of the Roche Group, where he then held various managerial positions for the Group in Germany and Switzerland.
He has various administrative mandates, including from 2014 – 2018 Chairman of the Board of the Business Association scienceIndustries in Switzerland, from 2017 – 2018 Vice-Chairman and from 2007 – 2018 Board member and Member of the Committee of the Board of economiesuisse (Swiss Business Federation), Member of the Board (former President 2009 – 2011) of SwissHoldings (Federation of Industrial and Service Groups in Switzerland), the Germany-Switzerland Chamber of Commerce (Handelskammer Deutschland-Schweiz), various foundations, and from 2003 to 2008 a board membership at Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. Since mid of January 2017 he has been a member of the University of Bologna Law Review.
Gottlieb A. Keller has been a member of the University Council since 2014.
Dr. Michaela Kneissel
Dr. Michaela Kneissel, born 1966, studied biology at the University of Vienna, where she received her doctoral degree in 1993. Research visits and a postdoctoral fellowship took her to the University College London (UK) and the University of Utah (USA). Since 1996, she has worked for Novartis in positions of increasing responsibility. Currently, she is Global Head of the Musculoskeletal Disease Area at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research.
As a distinguished researcher in the field of drug development, she is familiar with the global research landscape in the life sciences and has excellent connections within the Swiss higher education landscape.
Michaela Kneissel has been a member of the University Council since 2020.