Profilbild Karl Lothar Zechlin 162x198px

Prof. em. für Öffentliches Recht

Academic and Professional Career

Personal Data



  • 1963 University entrance qualification (classical languages) at Dilthey Schule in Wiesbaden
  • 1963 - 1967 Study of Law at the universities of Marburg, Munich and Bonn; First State Examination in Law at the Higher Appeals Court in Düsseldorf
  • 1967 – 1968 Postgraduate studies at the Centre d’Etudes Européennes at the University of Nancy (France), Diplome d’Etudes Supérieures
  • 1968 – 1971 Junior Lawyer in Hamburg; Second State Examination in Law at the Hanseatic Higher Appeals Court in Hamburg
  • 1971 Doctorate in Law (Dr. jur.), University of Bonn

Professional Career

  • 1971 – 1973 Research assistant at the Law School of the University of Hamburg; lecturer at the University of Bremen
  • 1973 – 1980 Post  Doc position at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Teaching and Learning of the University of Hamburg (focus: curriculum development and evaluation of single-tire legal education); two-month research stay at Sorbonne I University in Paris (1978); on leave to serve as Press Spokesman of the Science and Research Ministry of Hamburg (1978 - 1980).
  • 1980 - 2003 Professor for Public Law at the Hamburg School of Economics and Politics; visiting professor at the Centre de Recherche Critique sur le Droit at the University of Saint-Étienne / France (1988) and at the Faculté de Droit of the Université Laval, Québec / Canada (1989); on leave at the University of Graz/ Austria (since 1999)
  • 1992 – 1999 President of the Hamburg School of Economics and Politics (re-elected in 1997)
  • 1999 – 2003 Rector of the Karl-Franzens-University of Graz (re-elected in 2003), Vice President of the Austrian Rectors Conference, in charge of the planning and organisation desk
  • 2003 - 2008 Founding Rector (till December 2006) and Rector of the University of Duisburg-Essen
  • 2008 - 2012 Professor for Public Law at the Institute for Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Since 2012 Retired, Senior Professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen


Key Areas of Activity

  • Constitutional law and higher education law
  • Organisation development, quality management, and strategic management in higher education institutions

Memberships and Mandates

  • Member of the advisory board (Comité d’orientation et de pilotage) of Sorbonnes Unversités, Paris (since 2012)
  • Steering Committee of the Institutional Evaluation Program of the EUA European University Association (member since 2004, chairman since 2011)
  • Deputy chair of the University Council of the University of Giessen (since 2008)
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of HIS GmbH as representative of the German Rectors’ Conference (since 2005)
  • Member of the Supervisory Board of Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann (since 2005)
  • Institutional evaluations: Spiru Haret University of Bucharest, Romania (2013); University of Madeira, Portugal (2012); Adnan Menderes University of Aydin, Turkey (2009); merger of the three universities of Strasbourg, France (2008); Gazi University of Ankara/,Turkey (2007); Austrian Accreditation Council (2007); Cukurova University of Adana, Turkey (2006); University of Technology of Brno, Czech Republic (2005; follow-up evaluation in 2010); State University of Novosibirsk, Russia (2000)
  • Memberships in scientific societies: Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER), European Association for Institutional Research (EAIR), German Evaluation Society (DeGEval), German Society for Higher Education Didactics (DGHD), German Society for Higher Education Research (GFHF)
  • Liaison Professor of the Hans-Böckler Foundation (since 1985)



  • Third place at the French University Championships in team épée fencing with the Stade Lorrain Universitaire Club Nancy (1967/1968)