Allianz Visiting Professorship at LMU: Building bridges

Dr. Johannes Schmoeckel, Head of Political Agenda Setting in the Group Regulatory Affairs department of Allianz SE, on the intention and future of the Allianz Visiting Professorship at LMU.

 

Why was the decision made to sponsor this visiting professorship?
 

Allianz started thinking about intercultural dialogue as far back as 2001. Then the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 hit the headlines. The dialogue suddenly took on new, and much greater, significance. Employees donated money to help those affected, and their families, and the company matched these donations. All the funds collected went to the newly-established Allianz Direct Help Foundation, which has been financing this visiting professorship, and also helping with local and global appeals for donations following natural catastrophes ever since. Before the visiting professorship could get off the ground, discussions had to be held with Munich's Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU). By the end of 2003, however, the series of Jewish-Islamic discussions, covering culture, art and history, had already been launched.
 

How do you select the professors to take part, and how does the whole selection process work?
 

Visiting professors are selected based on proposals from the LMU institutions involved in the scheme. We don't want to meddle with the university's academic sovereignty, so we only have a veto right which we use if there's a reason why someone should not be offered the position. Several LMU departments involved, in which Jewish and Islamic studies play a role in courses, such as history and art, say they have become much closer as a result of the program. The program has become so well-known internationally that the problem today is agreeing on one candidate from the multitude of proposals put forward. The organizers meet at the start of each semester with new representatives to discuss joint events for the current visiting professors, as well as their medium-term development.
 
 

What do you think lies ahead for the visiting professorship...is there a "sell-by date"?
 

The visiting professorship is currently financed until 2017. Its acclaimed success, and the great reputation the LMU visiting professorship has gained, certainly support the extension of the program. And we've already mentioned the closer collaboration within the LMU itself. There are a range of ideas as to how the initiative can continue.




Find out more about our Allianz Visiting professors for the summer semester 2015, Schlomo Ben-Ami and Sunil Kumar: On global conflicts and sultanate Delhi.

Dr. Johannes Schmoeckel heads Political Agenda Setting in the Group Regulatory Affairs department of Allianz SE. Part of his remit covers looking after the Allianz Visiting Professorship at the LMU.
Dr. Johannes Schmoeckel heads Political Agenda Setting in the Group Regulatory Affairs department of Allianz SE. Part of his remit covers looking after the Allianz Visiting Professorship at the LMU.

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Nicolai Tewes
Allianz SE
Phone +49.89.3800-4511
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