Helmut Hock
Image: Stefan Bausewein

50 Years 50 Faces

Helmut Hock

Deputy Head of the Department of Student Affairs, Vice Chair of the FHWS Staff Council and Fire Prevention Officer at the Würzburg site

At FHWS since 1 January 1995

For me, FHWS is ...
an exciting and innovative workplace where I have the opportunity to meet many interesting people.

What do you appreciate about FHWS?

I appreciate the fact that I am able to act independently and on my own initiative in my various roles. I have the chance to put my ideas for simplifying administrative processes (for example introducing digital student applications) into practice. The work with my colleagues and superiors is also something I greatly value.

What was the best decision in your professional career and why? What has changed since then?

A decision is always good if it was right at the time it was taken. During my training as a civil servant with a municipal authority, I learned a lot about local law. When I changed jobs and switched to FHWS, there was much I could take from that legal education, but I had to learn about the Bavarian Higher Education Act and other higher education law myself. There is no training or professional development body in Bavaria specifically for university and higher education administration. This experience sparked my interest in lifelong learning.
I was also able to complete a number of courses (for example training as fire team head) at the state fire service training college in Würzburg. As there were at that time no fire safety regulations at FHWS, a colleague was appointed fire prevention officer for the Schweinfurt location and I was appointed fire prevention officer for the Würzburg location. We studied on our own and in our own time for the necessary statutory certificate, and sat and passed the fire prevention officer examination in Stuttgart. The issue of fire safety was often dismissed or not taken seriously back then. We launched the development of a fire protection code and started training a fire safety team. Today, we run the annual evacuation drills together with the police and fire brigade. We believe that fire safety is an important aspect of daily working life for all our colleagues.
I have been able to combine my “hobby” – the fire brigade – with work. Together with a fire brigade colleague, I launched a partnership with the fire department of New York City (the New York Firefighters). They were very interested in the fire service training college and in FHWS. The university management of the time enthusiastically supported a campus tour.

What do you think has shaped FHWS the most over the last 50 years?

FHWS has built a strong reputation in the region above all through its practical approach and training. Graduates are valued and respected by trade and industry. The fact that more than 60 percent of our former students find jobs with employers in the region is testament to this.

What is your vision of the future for FHWS? What might FHWS look like in 50 years’ time?

During my time at FHWS, I have worked with three presidents and three chancellors and the working relationship has always been excellent. I would like to see more senior female staff elected to the university board of management.

What is your insider tip for the cities of Würzburg or Schweinfurt and why?

My insider tip for Würzburg is the wine festivals. There are also many great tourism and leisure options in the area, for example wonderful cycle trips along the River Main.