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Details on the Procedure

1st Phase: What makes up the university?

Before the Innovation Workshop began, the participants were asked to complete the sentence “For me, a university is...” The completed sentences were presented and discussed in the work groups.

2nd Phase: What values and characteristics do I associate with the idea of a university?

The participants selected thirty result transparencies [de] from last September’s Congress on the Future. They provide examples of the various “limits” the university is testing the bounds of: the (international) education market, the professional world, politics, private enterprise, culture, city, and region. They also indicate how the more than 300 participants believe the university should be – what it should stand for with regard to the selected limits.

The participants were divided into eight workshops representing different university groups, where they presented the transparencies and then used a “thesaurus of values” [de] to assign to each of them the values they personally considered most important.

The thesaurus was kindly made available by Dr. Florian Becker (LMU Munich). It is a part of his dissertation, in which he has developed a method for measuring personalities. In an extension of the empirical tradition of classical personality research, the method calls for the creation and validation of a questionnaire designed to collect data on a company’s perceived personality by means of cluster and factor analyses. This instrument collects data on the company personality in 7 global dimensions and 21 sub-dimensions.

The more than 3750 associations were visualized in so-called “value clouds” [de], a form of tag cloud. The purpose was to illustrate what values are particularly relevant for various groups at the university. The results were combined to form an overall cloud [de] that shows what values were named most often across all of the groups.

3rd Phase: What will I do to put these values into practice at the University of Freiburg?

The participants developed concrete suggestions for putting the values into practice in smaller groups and presented them on posters. The groups then selected the best suggestions [de].