Professor Edel asks Prime Minister Woidke for mercy

Brandenburg / H. When it comes to freedom of science, one cannot play with Karl-Otto Edel (82) from Brandenburg an der Havel. Since last year, the retired professor of technology at the Technical University of Brandenburg (THB) has been fighting for the publication of his book and against his former university.

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The Brandenburg University of Technology (formerly FHB) refuses to publish his essay “The Bologna Process – An Educational Gift from Dana” on its publication server. Therefore, after being rejected by the president of THB last year, the expert in turn turned first to the Ministry of Science and a little later to the Petitions Committee of the Land of Brandenburg.

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However, nothing helps a scientist to be successful. They do not fix the situation, but rather clearly confirm the legal opinion of the university and its president Andreas Wilms.

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Since, from Karl-Otto Edel’s point of view, the constitutionally protected freedom of research and teaching is violated and undermined, he does not give up. March 15, 2022 addresses the Constitutional Court of Brandenburg.

It is mainly about the aforementioned book, in which Edel takes a critical look at the Bologna Process, namely the extensive abolition of the diploma examination, which has long prevailed in Germany, and its replacement with international bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

THB did not comment on the content of the book, but prevented Professor Edel from using the university server to digitally publish the work. THB is based on the Brandenburg Higher Education Act.

After this time, only university members and associates can use the university’s facilities, such as the publishing server. As Professor Edel is no longer teaching or researching at the university, he is no longer a member of the university and therefore no longer has access to it.

Edel is personally disappointed with this position, considering it a “degradation of the retired professor and his work”. It refers to the University of Potsdam, where apparently different rules apply.

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Since the scientist is reluctant to give up “irrational, unlawful attacks on freedom of opinion and freedom of science,” he turns to nine constitutional state judges.

Even film director Andreas Dresen, as a constitutional judge of the Constitutional Court of Brandenburg, could not be convinced of Professor Edel.

But even the highest court in the country allows the still-active retired professor to collapse. In terms of content, the Constitutional Tribunal does not take a position. In its final decision, it rejected Edel’s constitutional complaint on two formal grounds.

The complaint was submitted on time, ie not on time, and was therefore inadmissible. Moreover, Edel did not exhaust the legal process. He would have to go through the administrative courts first.

Without mentioning it, the constitutional judges indicate that they do not consider the case to be of general importance. They do not see any “violation of fundamental rights that would be wholly intolerable, even temporary”.

In the dispute over academic freedom, Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke should not speak, but rather show mercy in the spirit of retired Brandenburg professor Karl-Otto Edel.

In the dispute over academic freedom, Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke should not speak, but rather show mercy in the spirit of retired Brandenburg professor Karl-Otto Edel.

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However, the last word has yet to be said. Disappointed with the “absurd” reasoning of constitutional judges, Karl-Otto Edel turns to the Prime Minister of Brandenburg Dietmar Woidke (SPD). In his “request” he asks the father of the country for “forgiveness”.

Karl Otto Edel writes to Dietmar Woidke: “I see the possibility of ending the conflict caused by the chairman of THB and irrationally taken to the extreme in terms of freedom of opinion and scientific freedom and bringing it to a positive conclusion in the short term, in you to ask for an act of grace under article 92 our national constitution.

The Prime Minister may “pronounce a lifetime pseudo-academic sanction of a permanent ban on using the publication server and on-line access to the University’s library, which is inconsistent with the legal and statutory status, invalid.”

Professor Edel hopes that Prime Minister Woidke will kindly take a look and decide that “in the future I will be able to participate in the academic life at the university without any obstacles”.

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