ETH Board, 11 December 2020

At its meeting on 9/10 December the ETH Board discussed a number of topical matters relating to educational and research policy, and declared itself to be in favour of Switzerland’s full association with Erasmus+. It is convinced that the benefits to the Swiss universities outweigh any additional costs. The ETH Board was gratified to note that, of the professors newly appointed in 2020, around 40% are women. This is the highest proportion ever. In addition, the ETH Board appointed Marc Bachelot as Interim Vice President for Finance at EPFL, and Carsten Schubert as a member of the Eawag Directorate.

ETH Board supports full association with Erasmus+ 
Switzerland has participated in the EU’s educational programmes since 1992. Since 2014 its access to these programmes has been restricted, so it has only participated indirectly as a third country. The ETH Board firmly believes that Switzerland should once again be a full participant in Erasmus+. Erasmus+ brings significant added value to our country. It is more than just a student exchange programme: its scope also extends to the promotion of vocational training, education and professional development. Its declared aim is to forge links between people in the fields of education, research and industry, and to promote cooperation. The Swiss universities rely on these networks in order to continue improving the quality and attractiveness of their educational offerings and position themselves successfully at international level. The ETH Board is aware that full association from 2021 to 2027 will incur additional costs compared with the current arrangements. However, it is convinced that the additional benefits of full association justify these. The ETH Board therefore demands that the additional costs should not be compensated in the ERI area.

40% of professors appointed in 2020 are female
In 2020 the ETH Board appointed 48 new professors, of whom 19 are women. The proportion of women thus came to around 40% (39.6%) and was higher than ever before in the ETH Domain. Although the statistics are based on only a small number of appointments, it is nevertheless clear that the female recruitment rate has remained above 30% for at least four years. Thus in the past four years, more than 34% of the professorships have been filled by women. These figures do not include promotions, but only new appointments of female professors. The efforts made by both ETH Zurich and EPFL are now bearing fruit. 
The ETH Board is convinced that these appointments will help to boost the proportion of female professors at the two Federal Institutes of Technology over the long term.

Marc Bachelot appointed as Interim Vice President for Finance at EPFL
As part of the structural adjustment of the Executive Board of EPFL for Martin Vetterli’s second term of office as President, the ETH Board has appointed Marc Bachelot as Interim Vice President for Finance. He is to take up his new position on 1 January 2021. Marc Bachelot studied engineering at the École des Ponts in Paris and has held a number of operational posts in finance in France, the USA, Italy and Switzerland. He has worked for EPFL since 2018. His current role is Director of Controlling and Accounting in the Vice Presidency for Finances.

Carsten Schubert appointed as new member of the Eawag Directorate
The ETH Board has nominated Carsten Schubert as a new member of the Eawag Directorate. He will take up his new post on 1 April 2021, replacing Johnny Wüest, who has been a member of the Directorate since 2015 and will shortly be retiring. Carsten Schubert studied geology at Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany. In 2001 he joined Eawag, where he headed up the biogeochemistry group. Since 2012 he has also been Head of the Department of Surface Waters. At ETH Zurich, he has been a lecturer since 2004 and an adjunct professor since 2019. Like his predecessor, Carsten Schubert will represent Eawag Kastanienbaum in the Directorate.

Salary negotiations for 2021
The ETH Board has conducted salary negotiations for 2021 with the social partners. Owing to the negative inflation rate, estimated at -0.7%, no cost-of-living increase or any increase in real salaries can be granted to the employees of the ETH Domain. As in previous years, 1.2% of the corresponding wage bill is available for individual pay awards.