Uni Linz: "The marketing institute has been in a bad way for a long time".

The new start after Gerhard Wührer is taking far too long for many business representatives.

At the end of September, university professor Gerhard Wührer, who was as long-serving as he was controversial, said farewell to the Marketing Institute at Johannes Kepler University (JKU). A successor will not begin until next winter semester. The interim head is Helmut Pernsteiner, Director of the Institute of Corporate Finance.

Johannes Kepler University has several construction sites - the Marketing Institute is one of the larger ones. Image: Volker Weihbold

"This means another year of standstill," comments an insider. Many business representatives are unhappy that the new start is taking so long after Gerhard Wührer. One who is open about it is Rainer Reichl, founder and head of Upper Austria's largest advertising agency: "So much has already been slept through in Linz. I haven't taken any applicants from the Linz Marketing Institute in the past five years." He recruits junior staff from the Linz Art University, the universities in Graz and Vienna, and the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences. "JKU is very well positioned in some things. The marketing institute is in a bad way," Reichl says.

Gerhard Stürmer, president of the Kepler Society alumni association, understands the impatience of the business community: "Personally, the time gap is also taking too long. But I understand that the rector wants a clever solution," says Stürmer, himself an assistant to legendary marketing professor Ernest Kulhavy. "Back then, marketing was a beacon of the Linz university."

University Rector Meinhard Lukas deliberately wants to take his time in the search for a successor. "I prefer a good solution to an excellent one." He considers the appointment a key chair around which he wants to rally top-notch practitioners. One focus is to be on digital marketing.

39 Applicants for the professorship

39 candidates applied for the institute management. 18 people would now go into peer review, Lukas said. By the beginning of the summer semester, there should be a short list of nearly ten candidates who will be invited to give appointment presentations. Among the applicants is said to be Arne Floh, currently a visiting professor at the Marketing Institute.

As reported, Linz marketing professor Thomas Werani did not apply. Stürmer comments on this diplomatically: "I am fundamentally against house appointments, because it needs fresh blood." The fact is that Werani is highly controversial because of his auditing methods. Students report that he quizzes "verbatim." People are literally "tested out" of already sparsely populated courses, he says.

Observers report that the declines are strikingly high among beginners and graduates of the Marketing Institute. In addition, content is outdated. "I recently compared the current Marketing Institute literature list with the one from 1985. 80 percent of the titles are the same. In St. Gallen, it is completely new," says Reichl.


Original article - OÖNachrichten