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 2022 to 2025.
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. Annette Luther, Vice President
Dr. Annette Luther, born in 1970, has been Head of International Governance Relation at F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG since April 1, 2023.
Annette Luther studied pharmacy at the Universities of Freiburg and Basel and received her PhD from the University of Basel in 2000. Since then, she has held various positions at Roche and other pharmaceutical companies, including Managing Director of Roche Diagnostics International AG in Rotkreuz and Secretary to the Board of Directors at F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG.
She also holds various mandates, among others on the Board of Directors of the Zug Cantonal Bank, on the Board of economiesuisse and as President of the Foundation of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
Annette Luther has been a member of the University Council since 2022.
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 the Swiss Peace Foundation as well as President of the Board of Trustees of Fairtrade Max Havelaar Switzerland.
Amacker has been a member of the University Council since 2014.
Bernhard Berger, born in 1963, holds a degree as civil engineer ETH/SIA and has been the owner of a Basel-based consulting firm in the field of construction, infrastructure and transport since 2018.
From 2010 to 2018, he was CEO of the Rapp Group. Bernhard Berger is a member of the Board of Directors of the University Hospital Basel as well as of the Board of the Basel Chamber of Commerce. From 2018 to 2022, he chaired the Swiss Association of Consulting Engineers usic.
Bernhard Berger has been a member of the University Council since 2022.
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 to 2019 he was a lecturer for private law at the University of Basel and habilitated in 2017.
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.
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.
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.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Maissen
Professor Thomas Maissen, born in 1962, studied history, Latin and philosophy at the University of Basel, where he received his PhD in 1993.
In 2002 he habilitated at the University of Zurich and took up an SNSF professorship in Early Modern History at the University of Lucerne. In 2004, Thomas Maissen was appointed to the Chair of Modern History with a focus on the Early Modern Period at the University of Heidelberg. He has been a member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities since 2006 and Director of the German Historical Institute Paris since 2013.
Thomas Maissen has been a member of the University Council since 2022.
Dr. Hans-Peter Wessels
Dr. Hans-Peter Wessels, born in 1962, studied at the ETH Zurich and received his doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Basel in 1990. From 2009 to 2021, he headed the Department of Construction and Transport of the Canton of Basel-Stadt as a member of the government.
Prior to that, he was, among other things, managing director of the Basel-Zurich Pharmaceutical Center and managing director of BaselArea, the economic development agency of the cantons of Basel-Stadt and Basel-Landschaft.
Hans-Peter Wessels has been a member of the University Council since 2022.
The President, as well as the Secretary of the University Council also serve the University Council in an advisory capacity.