Karl Leydecker joined the University of Dundee as Vice-Principal (Learning and Teaching) and Professor of German and Comparative Literature in July 2013. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of learning, teaching and the wider student experience at the University, and also leads the University’s strategy for Employability, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. In 2014 he led a review of the structures of the University and is now leading the cultural and communication aspects of the implementation of the new structures.
Karl studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, taking a BA in English and Modern Languages (including a year at the University of Passau) and a PhD in German (including two years at the University of Hamburg). He taught for a year at what was then the University of Wales Lampeter before moving to the University of Stirling as Lecturer in German in 1996. In 2001 he was promoted to Senior Lecturer and spent a term as Visiting Professor of German at the University of California at Davis.
At Stirling he served as Head of German, Vice Dean for Learning and Teaching in the Faculty of Arts, and Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Religions. He served for two years as an elected member of University Court, the governing body of the university. He was also an Institutional Reviewer under the ELIR system.
In 2005 he moved to the University of Kent to become Reader in German and Head of the School of European Culture and Languages. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Humanities in 2007. In 2010 he was promoted to Professor, and in the same year took on additional institution-wide responsibility for flexible learning. While at Kent he was one of the architects of the Consortium for Humanities and Arts South East England (CHASE) doctoral training consortium involving seven universities which in 2013 was awarded £17million by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He also served on the Executive Committee of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH UK).
Karl represents the University of Dundee on a number of external bodies including Universities Scotland Learning and Teaching Committee, the Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Committee, and the FutureLearn Partner Advisory Group. In 2014/15 he served on the steering group of the independent review of the SPA (Supporting Professionalism in Admissions).
Karl’s research interests include marriage and divorce in German and European literature from the late eighteenth century to the 1920s, and German drama and social history from 1890 to 1930.