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In the beginning, it amounted to 2.2 full-time equivalences distributed among three people. When General Counsel Hildegard Kölliker looks back, she hardly recognises the department she joined in 2009. Now, in 2018, ten people look after the University’s concerns in the General Counsel’s Office. "The bigger we become, the more important it is that we can ensure representation, which is why we must deal with our cases according to a clear-cut system, both digitally and in hard copy," says Kölliker.
"Juridification has increased in procedures and processes."
The tasks have grown in the course of the years: from IT Security to Risk & Compliance. "Juridification has increased in procedures and processes. Many things require rulebooks now. Resolutions must be watertight. Demands on committee work have become much greater over the years." This is also reflected in the team. For some years now, the University archive has been part of the General Counsel’s Office, which have always worked closely together. "Particularly when it comes to finding out how many things were regulated in the past, we depend on the University archive," explains Kölliker. "Why did people arrive at a certain decision at the time, what was the background?"
With the introduction of the Risk & Compliance Department, the HSG played a pioneering role in Switzerland at the time. "This is a department that did not exist in universities throughout Switzerland but now is required."
Basically, all the big projects at University level also occupy the General Counsel's Office: from the Joint Medical Master to the extension of the campus, from reforms of the career path to the habilitation regulations. Added to this, there are issues such as the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, the introduction of an internal monitoring system (IKS), the new salary system (NeLo) and the admission regulations.
Many things are routine, but nevertheless very interesting. "You have to work with great precision," says Hildegard Kölliker, "otherwise you end up with follow-up and implementation problems. In a certain way we're a hub and have our fingers on the pulse of very many issues at the University. We learn things about many issues at a very early stage. This is exciting, but it also requires absolute discretion. This, in turn requires life experience, sensitivity and tact, all of which is in place in the General Counsel’s Office.