Wolf Frühauf, Dr.

27.4.1943 – 26.6.2024
born in Vienna, Austria died in Vienna, Austria

Head of Section at the Ministry of Science


Ehrung Titel Datierung Fakultät
Honorary Senator sen.h.c. 1999/00

> Short biography in German

Wolf Frühauf, born in Vienna in 1943, passed his school-leaving examination (Matura) at the Gymnasium in Vienna 12 and then began to study law at the University of Vienna, graduating with a doctorate in law in 1966.
Shortly afterwards, he became a university assistant at the Institute for Constitutional and Administrative Law under Prof. Felix Ermacora (1923-1995). As early as 1970, when a separate department for science was separated from the education department for the first time in Austria, the Federal Ministry of Science and Research, he accompanied this development from the beginning as office manager/head of cabinet of the Federal Minister Dr. Dr.h.c. Hertha Firnberg and all her successors until 2009.
From 1983, he was Head of the Presidential and Legal Section of the Ministry of Science and was appointed Head of Section in 1988, which he remained until his retirement in 2009.

He was committed to the interests of science and research and helped shape many reforms in the science and university sector, as well as the investments and construction projects of universities and universities of applied sciences. In connection with the University of Vienna, his role in the donation, revitalization and transformation of the Old General Hospital into the AAKH university campus as well as in the construction of the new General Hospital and the restructuring of the clinical departments of the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna should be mentioned first and foremost. He also played a leading and supportive role in the construction of the University Center Althanstraße/Biology Center (zoology and others), the construction of the Juridicum for the Faculty of Law, the transformation of the former University of World Trade into the Franz-Kleingasse institute building (archaeology), the construction of the Vienna Biocenter, Dr. Bohr-Gasse in Vienna 3 (biotechnology), the University Sports Center Schmelz (UZS, in particular the expansion of the „USZ II“), the Center for Business Administration in Vienna 21, Brünnerstraße, but also in numerous general renovations, conversions and extensions, such as: University of Vienna main building, New Institute Building, University Sports Center Dientnerhof and Wilhelminenberg (Wildlife Biology), general refurbishment of the Botanical Institute, refurbishment and conversion of the building Vienna 1, Hohenstaufengasse for the purposes of the SOWI Faculty, Renovation and conversion of the building at Vienna 18, Schopenhauerstrasse for the Institute of Journalism and Communication Studies, renovation and extension of the institute building at Vienna 9, Kinderspitalgasse (Institute of Hygiene) and renovation and conversion of the former pathology department in the old General Hospital into the Brain Research Center. The net floor space of the University of Vienna increased to 180,000 m² between 1970 and 2000 as a result of his activities in the Ministry of Science.

In 1992, he was entrusted by Vice-Chancellor Federal Minister Dr. Erhard Busek in the Federal Ministry of Science and Research with the agenda of university sports, among other things. As Chairman of the „Central University Sports Committee“, he provided many impulses in university sports in Austria and made it possible to intensify and internationalize this area. Among other things, he initiated the founding of the European University Sports Organization EUSA in Vienna in 1999 and brought numerous international university sports events to Austria: the 2002 World Student Squash Championships in Linz, the 2004 European Student Beach Volleyball Championships in Klagenfurt and the largest event, the Winter Universiade Innsbruck-Seefeld 2005. He was also a strong supporter of the University Sports Institute (USI).

He was also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Austrian Academic Exchange Service (ÖAD) and, from 2009-2010, President of the Federation of Social Democratic Academics, Intellectuals and Artists (BSA), of which he had been a member since 1968 and Chairman of the BSA Lawyers since 1974.


He was the recipient of numerous awards and was made an Honorary Senator of the University of Vienna on June 7, 2000.

In his acceptance speech, he emphasized that he received the award

„also as a sign of the good cooperation between the University of Vienna and the Ministry (BMWF, BMWFK, BMWVK, BMWV and now BMBWK) under the UOG 1975 as well as in preparation for the UOG 1993 [...] A cooperation that is particularly evident in the example of the development of the Old General Hospital (AAKH) as a university campus: Namely that the university – endowed with an extraordinarily generous gift from the City of Vienna – was also able to develop actual economic gestion in autonomous administration.
An example of practiced and applied extended autonomy – long before the extended legal capacity of the statutory UOG reforms of 1987 and 1993 – in which the University of Vienna, together with its legal entity, was able to develop the university campus for the benefit of the university as well as for the good of the city and its population.
This and other examples show that the relationship between the university and the ministry is characterized by ‘confidence-building forms of cooperation’, which have enabled a positive development for science, research and universities in our country, even in international comparison.
[...] My entire professional life at the Federal Ministry has been determined not least by the challenge of developing resources for science, research and universities. [...] Even if in the past and present – and quite rightly in the future – there have been and will continue to be critical comments and debates on the question of the economic use of resources at universities, my professional ministerial work has been guided by the central principle that investments in science, research and universities are investments in the future.“ (7.6.2000)

In 2011, he was made an honorary citizen of the University of Innsbruck, and in 2018 he was awarded a gold doctorate at the University of Vienna to mark the 50th anniversary of his doctorate.

After his retirement, he was head of the Vienna office of the Austrian Institute for European Law and Policy at the Hofburg in Vienna for many years.

Archive of the University of Vienna, Rectorate GZ 71/2 ex 1999/00

Herbert Posch

Zuletzt aktualisiert am 07/04/24