Presidency handover at Sabancı University

Sabancı University President Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu handed over her duties to her successor Professor Hasan Mandal with a handover ceremony held at Sabancı University.

Sabancı University President Ayşe Kadıoğlu handed over her duties to Hasan Mandal at a ceremony hosted by Sabancı University Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı. As a founding member of Sabancı University, Ayşe Kadıoğlu served as faculty member, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean, and finally as President during her 20-year career at the institution. Ayşe Kadıoğlu will continue to be a member of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and dedicate some of her time to the Harvard University Center for European Studies.

After the opening of the ceremony by Secretary General Haluk Bal and introductory remarks by the parties, Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu, accompanied by Sabancı University Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı, presented the "Inscription of Academic Freedom at Sabancı University" designed by the late FASS Studio and Workshops Director Bayram Candan to her successor, Professor Hasan Mandal. The handover ceremony ended with the laying of a commemorative brick prepared in the name of Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu. 

“We come from a point of success. But success is a moving target. We will go even further. I believe that we have started a new term of raising bright young generations for the world."


Hosting the ceremony, Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı spoke about the selection process for the new president, and thanked all faculty and administrative members who supported the process.  

Güler Sabancı spoke: "This is the dawn of a new era. We will all run a new leg now.   We have built a young and successful university through your support. We come from a point of success. But success is a moving target. We will go even further.  We have created together, and we will continue developing together."

Güler Sabancı said: "Traditions have considerable place in our processes.  We are just starting our 20th year. In 2019, we will complete our 20th year in education. Everyone who has experienced these years has an important part to play in creating our tradition. Our colleagues will remember the transition phase from our Founding President, the late Tosun Terzioğlu, to Nihat Berker. I would like to remind you nevertheless.

The Sabancı University Board of Trustees has a practice that it takes very seriously: the process for seeking and choosing a president. When the time comes, the Chair of the Board of Trustees sets up a selection committee consisting of the Chair, a Board of Trustees member in an academic function, and another Board of Trustees member who is a businessperson not otherwise affiliated with the university. Our former presidents Tosun Bey and Nihat Bey were also a part of this process.  This team works with an independent advisor who has expertise on the subject and close knowledge of the academic world.  Sabancı University faculty are also given the chance to nominate themselves as candidates and compete. The first screening is completed by the independent advisor. Then, every member of the selection committee has separate and individual meetings with the 3 or 4 candidates on the shortlist, find a common ground, and make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

Hasan Mandal was chosen as a result of this exact process.   In the interim when Hasan Mandal was a member of the Council for Higher Education, we spoke to him about the process and told him that he was the new presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I asked Ayşe Kadıoğlu to stand in for President as the position was vacant after Nihat Berker's resignation, and pleaded her to respond quickly. Because like nature, management abhors vacuum. She said yes within two hours, and we let the Council for Higher Education know.  Ayşe Hanım became our Acting President with no perceptible gap.  I owe her special gratitude. I would like to thank her for acting selflessly for the sake of our university, for the sake of building us into an institution, and for preserving our identity.

We may be a new university, but as you can see, we are stronger together. This unity and camaraderie that makes Sabancı University what it is today is an approach that keeps the university ahead of and above all things. I would like to thank Ayşe Hoca for her bright presidency. I would also like to welcome back the esteemed scientist Hasan Mandal.  His being here today feels like being back home. I am confident that you will all support Hasan Bey the way you did Ayşe Hanım. We will run a new leg led by Hasan Mandal.

As I welcome Hasan Bey, I believe that Sabancı University will reach new heights and stay ahead of the competition under his guidance.  I believe that we have started a new term of raising bright young generations for the world. I wish everyone great success and good fortune.”

“We must continue to surprise everyone, ourselves included, with what we can do at the university. I have no doubt that Sabancı University will continue to do what it does best, even in the most difficult time, and continue to be a pleasant surprise for everyone involved." 

Saying that she had learned lots from the administrators she worked with during her tenure as President, Ayşe Kadıoğlu explained that she found out that the key to solving every problem was being genuine at heart, and that Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı was an inspiration and a great experience for her in this regard. Professor Kadıoğlu continued that she had learned that the best way to approach a problem was asking the most basic questions in a sincere way, and said that the Sabancı University Board of Trustees always had confidence in her. Ayşe Kadıoğlu said: “Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the late Sakıp Sabancı, had said that Sabancı University was the crown jewel of all Sabancı institutions. I have witnessed firsthand that we were indeed treated like a jewel. I have seen how precious the university was to Güler Sabancı, and how much time she devoted to the betterment of the university, and it made me feel even more responsible than I did." 

Saying that Hasan Mandal was no stranger to the Sabancı University community, Ayşe Kadıoğlu continued: “We all know Hasan Hoca for his dedication to getting a job done, and doing it in the best way possible. In fact, we have been working with Hasan Hoca for a long time--we were aware that we were going through a period of transition. He has personally helped my academic career along: while he was Vice-President of the university, he visited my office one day and, showing his signature humility, encouraged me to apply to a research project.  When I did, it yielded great benefits to my academic career as well as that of a PhD student of mine. Hasan Hoca always looks out for you, and does not make you resent it." 

Remarking that administrators could not shift the blame and had to step up to take responsibility under any circumstance, Ayşe Kadıoğlu said the following about Sabancı University Secretary General Haluk Bal: “Dearest Haluk Bey was my closest associate during this process--he always believed in me, and I had confidence in him, so we thought together and took responsibility together. He is a blessing to our university. He was an exemplary companion on this journey, and he never hesitated to take responsibility.” 

Sabancı University Academic Freedoms Text 

Addressing the faculty members attending the ceremony, Ayşe Kadıoğlu said, “My fellow faculty: universities exist so that you can produce and disseminate knowledge. This is not something that can be done without freedom. Our university has a strong foundation in this regard, evidenced by the Academic Freedoms Text drafted in its early years and announced to the world on its website. This text does not simply state that “All members of the University community involved in the practice of dissemination of knowledge are entitled to freedom in the conduct of their teaching in the classroom, of their research on or off campus, and in the publication, discussion and interpretation of research results" - it goes further than that to include: "The faculty and administration of Sabancı University are responsible for protecting the right of each member of Sabancı University to artistic expression or to freely expressing his or her personal scholarly opinion." This obligation or responsibility is critical. It is vital that we uphold the freedoms of our colleagues. Otherwise, the university will lose its reason of existence." 

Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu concluded: “We must continue to surprise everyone, ourselves included, with what we can do at the university. I have no doubt that Sabancı University will continue to do what it does best, even in the most difficult time, and continue to be a pleasant surprise for everyone involved. I wish everyone a great journey." 

“The intellectual assets of our university, composed of its people, infrastructure and stakeholders, achieves global standards in competitiveness. 

I am delighted to be a part of this journey from personal excellence to creating and developing together.”  

Taking the floor, Professor Hasan Mandal said, “I would like to tell everyone that I am delighted to be among you once again, to have come home and been met with open arms. When I first joined Sabancı University 7 years ago, in March 2011, I was tremendously excited and more than a little self-concsious; yet the welcoming attitudes of my colleagues and their contribution toı the work I did transformed that into a dedication to work and create together. This led to our university gaining more recognition worldwide due to its achievements. 

Over the coming years, we will embrace our mission and reason for being, namely 'creating and developing together' to work towards our common goals in the faculties, centers and forums of our universities.

Our vision for the strategic plan from 2017 to 2022 is stated as follows: 'Sabancı University will advance its leadership and innovative position by conducting research that has transformative effects on the society, and by training individuals who will design the future.' And our targets for reinforcing the Sabancı University brand are:

  • To maintain Sabancı University's leading role in education;
  • To expand the volume of high-quality research;
  • To attract and retain the best people;
  • To ensure the financial sustainability of the university;
  • To continue our leadership in innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • To improve our level of internationalization. 

Our motto of "creating and developing together" will be the foundation on which we will build and implement this process. One of the crucial strengths of our university is its potential to develop and sustain cooperation. The fact that we have received a full 25 points in the Cooperation and Interaction component of the Entrepreneurial and Innovative Universities Index for 6 years in a row is a case in point.

The intellectual assets of our university, composed of its people, infrastructure and stakeholders, achieves global standards in competitiveness.

Our first priority will be to uphold the principle of transparency in all our dealings with our students, faculty, researchers, administrative personnel, internal and external committees, and all external stakeholders, and to complete all structural processes which will enable this.

The motto 'creating and developing together' gives me excitement every time I hear it. Being 'together' alludes to the perfection of being 'one' and singular, but it also carries over to being in unity. I view this as a journey from personal excellence to creating and developing together. I would like to conclude by saying how happy I am to be a part of this journey with you, and how marvelous it feels that our paths have crossed."

About Professor Hasan Mandal: 

Born in Eskişehir Province of Turkey in 1965, Hasan Mandal graduated from METU Department of Metallurgical Engineering in 1987 with high honors. He received his PhD from Newcastle University in 1992. He carried out postdoctoral research at Newcastle University from 1992 to 1994, and at Karlsruhe University in Germany from 1997 to 1998. 

Professor Hasan Mandal became an Assistant Professor in the Anadolu University Department of Ceramic Engineering in 1994. He assumed the title of Associate Professor in 1996, and Professor in 2001. Professor Mandal has authored over 140 papers, including 70 published in SCI-listed journals, and holds of 6 international patents.  He has 1200 citations and an H-index of 16. 

Professor Mandal has been the winner of several national and international awards including TÜBİTAK’s Science Award. He is the member of Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), World Academy of Ceramics (WAC) and Academia Europaea.  

Professor Mandal was the Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Architecture of Anadolu University between 2006 and 2010, the Vice-President of Anadolu University from 2010 to 2011, and the Research and Graduate Policy Director and Vice President of Sabancı University between 2011 and 2015. 

Hasan Mandal was appointed member of the Council for Higher Education in April 2015, and became a member of the Steering Committee of the Council. He became Deputy Chair of the CHE in July 2016.