With the following Charter, the Land Berlin, represented by the Senator for Science and Research, Dr. Peter Glotz, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, represented by the Rector, Professor Dr. Peter Wapnewski, establish this Foundation for the promotion of advanced study and international academic cooperation to mark the 25th anniversary of the death of Ernst Reuter, who, after the regime of the National Socialists, laid the cornerstone for free development of the city.
Name, Legal Form and Seat of the Foundation
The Foundation is to bear the name “Wissenschaftsstiftung Ernst Reuter” (Ernst Reuter Foundation for Advanced Study). It is a Foundation with legal status under civil law and has its seat in Berlin.
Tasks of the Foundation
(1) The task of the Foundation is to promote the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. To that end, the Foundation is to grant the latter free right of usufruct over the properties specified in article 3, paragraph 1, letter a, to procure the necessary funds in line with article 4, and to pass them on to the Kolleg.
(2) If it is impossible to comply with the purpose of the Foundation as specified in paragraph 1, then it is the task of the Foundation to promote advanced study and international academic cooperation.
(3) The Foundation is strictly non-profit in the sense of the tax code’s section on “Purposes Qualifying for Tax Relief” (1977). The Foundation operates for the benefit of others and is not primarily interested in its own profitability. The Foundation’s funds may be used only for purposes that are in accordance with the Charter. No person may benefit from disbursements which are alien to the purpose of the Foundation or from disproportionately high remuneration.
Assets of the Foundation
(1) The principal assets of the Foundation are
a) the free right of usufruct with respect to those Berlin-Grunewald properties in the possession of the Land Berlin at Wallotstraße 19 and 21;
b) cash funds;
c) the property at Koenigsallee 21, Berlin-Grunewald, which was presented and signed over to the Foundation by the Volkswagenwerk Foundation for the purposes of the Wissenschaftskolleg.
(2) In principle the assets of the Foundation are to be kept in reserve. In order to achieve the aims of the Foundation, any of its funds exceeding 250,000 DM may temporarily be made available for use with agreement of the Board of Trustees and if its repayment seems assured.
Funds of the Foundation
(1) The funds required by the Wissenschaftskolleg for grants and to operate the Kolleg will be made available by the Foundation each year through allocations from the budget of the Land Berlin, the Federal Government, and other public-law entities.
(2) In addition the Foundation may accept funds from third parties insofar as they are designated for a purpose which is in accordance with the tasks laid down in the Charter and providing that acceptance of them does not compromise the Foundation’s independence.
(3) The Foundation is authorized to accept occasional funding for purposes designated in the Charter, provided it secures the approval of the Supervisory Board and provided this funding
a) is in the interests of the Foundation;
b) in no way threatens to compromise its independence;
c) and its disbursement does not hinder the Kolleg in fulfilling its statutory obligations.
Organs of the Foundation
The organs of the Foundation are the
b) Board of Trustees.
Director of the Foundation
The Rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg shall be appointed Director of the Foundation. If he/she is not appointed, the Board of Trustees shall appoint a temporary Director. The Director decides who is to represent him/her in the case that he/she is prevented from exercising the office.
(1) The Director administers the Foundation in accordance with the Charter. He/She is answerable to the Board of Trustees.
(2) The position of Director is honorary and unpaid.
(3) The Director represents the Foundation in and outside a court of law.
(4) The Director is accountable. At the end of each fiscal year accounts are to be drawn up on the income and expenditure of the Foundation and its assets. The fiscal year corresponds to the calendar year.
Board of Trustees
(1) The Board of Trustees consists of
a) the member of the Berlin Senate responsible for science and research, to be Chairperson;
b) the member of the Federal Government responsible for science and research who shall assume the Chair at meetings of the Board of Trustees if the Chairperson is prevented from doing so;
c) two members to be appointed by the Members’ Assembly of the Wissenschaftskolleg.
(2) The members of the Board of Trustees (paragraph 1, letters a−c) may coopt up to eight figures from public life as additional members for four years. The Director may make recommendations for such appointments.
(3) On suggestion of the Director, the Board of Trustees can appoint additional members if and as long as they provide substantial funds to finance the Wissenschaftskolleg. If the additional member is a public body or legal entity, it shall determine who shall represent it.
(4) The Chairperson and member from the Federal Government may delegate members of their administrative staffs to represent them. Other members may vote by proxy by transferring their vote in writing to another member.
Tasks of the Board of Trustees
(1) The Board of Trustees decides on
- guidelines for the Foundation’s work;
- the annual economic plan;
- amendments to the Charter or agreement to changes in the Wissenschaftskolleg’s Charter (article 12, paragraph 2, sentence 2 of the Wissenschaftskolleg’s Charter);
- the acceptance of the Director’s report;
- agreement to the establishment of a selection committee for choosing a Rector as well as agreement to its recommendation for the appointment in accordance with article 6, paragraph 3 of the Kolleg’s Charter;
- the position statement on the selection of Permanent Fellows in accordance with article 9 of the Wissenschaftskolleg’s Charter;
- the dissolution of the Foundation or its merger with another foundation;
- agreement to the dissolution of the Wissenschaftskolleg.
The Rector of the Wissenschaftskolleg provides the Board with a report on the work of the Kolleg. The Board makes a statement about this report.
(2) Membership on the Board of Trustees is honorary.
(1) The Board of Trustees passes its resolutions in meetings or through written ballot.
(2) The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees must give members two weeks notice of meetings or ballots.
(3) At least half the members of the Board of Trustees must be present at meetings to constitute a quorum. Written ballots require the participation of at least half the members or the result is invalid.
(4) Decisions are voted on the basis of a simple majority. In the event of a tie vote, the Chairperson casts the deciding vote. Resolutions which concern amendments to the Charter or questions with significant financial repercussions may not be passed unless the representatives of the Federal Government and the State of Berlin vote in favor.
(1) The Foundation is subject to the supervision of the Senator for Justice in accordance with the regulations of the Berlin Law on Foundations in the version of 10 November 1976 (Gazette of Laws and Ordinances, page 2599).
(2) Resolutions involving amendments to the Charter, the dissolution of the Foundation or its merger with another Foundation require the approval of the Supervisory Authority. The Director must apply to the Supervisory Authority for approval.
(3) The Director must submit the Annual Report to the Supervisory Authority within four months after conclusion of the fiscal year.
(4) Any alteration to the composition of one of the Foundation’s organs must be reported immediately to the Supervisory Authority by the Director.
Dissolution of the Foundation or Cessation of its Purpose
In the event that the Foundation is dissolved or its purpose ceases (article 2, paragraphs 1 and 2; article 9, paragraph 1, sentence 1) the State of Berlin is to be repaid the funds it has deposited and the market value of those of the physical assets it supplied which are still available (article 3, paragraph 1, letters a−b) and the Volkswagenwerk Foundation is to be given back the property at Koenigsallee 21 (article 3, paragraph l, letter c).
Last amended on July 14, 2017.