Alexander Wittkowsky played an important role in the early development of the University of Bremen. In his term of office from 1977 to 1982, he vogorously defended the fundamental values of the University, which still apply to today. He guided the University with tact and personal commitment through a turbulent time. “His death is a loss to us all and our deepest sympathy goes to his family,” said Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter, today President of the University of Bremen.
Appointed June 1, 1977
Alexander Wittkowsky was Rector of the University of Bremen in what were politically highly explosive times. On June 1, 1977, he succeeded Rector Hans-Josef Steinberg, who had announced his resignation in October 1976 – with effect from March 31, 1977 – in protest against developments in higher education policy. His resignation was triggered by the draft of a new Bremen Higher Education Act which abolished the tripartite co-determination of professors, students and administrative staff that had been practiced in Bremen until that time.
Roots in Berlin
Wittkowsky grew up in Berlin, where he attended the Goethe-Gymnasium and later the Technical University. He studied shipbuilding and process engineering, graduating with a Diplom. From January 2, 1962 Wittkowsky was a research associate and from winter semester 69/79 senior engineer at the Rudolf Drawe Institute for Fuel Technology at the Chair for Fuel Technology in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (later process engineering) at the TU Berlin. As senior engineer, Wittkowsky – without holding a chair and two months before the award of his doctorate – was elected the first president of the TU Berlin, a position he held from May 1970 to May 1977. He then worked for five years as Rector of the University of Bremen until 1982.