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Freie Universität Berlin Mourns Loss of Professor Dr. Werner Väth

Vice president died unexpectedly on Monday, aged 67

№ 354/2012 from Nov 20, 2012

Professor Dr. Werner Väth, vice president of Freie Universität, died on Monday after a short, serious illness. He was only 67 years old. An internationally renowned scholar, Werner Väth had held a professorial chair at the Otto Suhr Institute for Political Science of Freie Universität Berlin since 1981. For many years, he had also been a member of the Executive Board of Freie Universität, and played a significant role in shaping the University's development. The Executive Board of Freie Universität expresses their sincerest condolences to his family and close friends.

"We are deeply saddened by the death of Werner Väth. With his passing, Freie Universität has lost an outstanding scholar and lecturer, an exceptionally committed vice president and colleague, and a generous and warm-hearted person and friend.  He played a major part in making Freie Universität what it is today, with international links to leading universities the world over, and a strong profile and reputation abroad.  We will always remember him," said president of Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt.

Werner Väth, born in 1945, grew up in Aschaffenburg and studied political science at the University of Vienna and Freie Universität Berlin. He then became a research assistant to Frieder Naschold at the University of Konstanz, where he worked on projects on the reform of government and administration and presented his doctoral thesis in 1976.  He was also involved in the design and development of the administrative sciences degree program.

In 1978 and 1980, Werner Väth was a temporary professor at the Otto Suhr Institute and, in 1981, was appointed to the Institute's chair in the economic foundations of politics. Werner Väth’s fields of research initially focused on local and regional policy, in particular research and technology policies, and on the national and international regulation of industrial crises. He worked with the European University Institute in Florence and gave many lectures internationally.

In 1988/89, Werner Väth was vice dean and dean of the Department of Political Science, and from 1990 to 1999 and 2003 to 2007 vice president of Freie Universität, which he represented as acting president for a short period. In 2010, the extended Academic Senate of Freie Universität again elected him to the Executive Board as vice president with a remit including international study programs.