WVPU is Guided by the Principle of Subsidiarity


WVPU’s legal form in Austria is that of an association (Verein); WVPU is guided by the principle of subsidiarity. It is logically tiered placing the General Assembly (GA) at the top, under which serves the Supervisory Board acting as the University Council (UC), which in turn monitors the management of the university in the form of the Executive Board (EB). 

General Assembly

The General Assembly is composed of the members of the Association, the four most senior officers of Webster University. It is responsible for approving structural and strategic decisions with financial implications, including development plans, annual budgets, annual reports and financial statements, changes to the Constitution and Articles of Association, and appointment and termination of members of the Executive Board and University Council. 

University Council

The University Council monitors the management of the university operations in the capacity of the Supervisory Board of the Association. It consists of four members who hold or held responsible positions in society, especially in academic, cultural or business life, and due to their exceptional knowledge and experience, contribute to achieving the goals and tasks of the university. 

Executive Board

The Executive Board, consisting of the Director, corresponding to the function of "Rektor" in the Austrian higher education sector, the Associate Director and the Head of Finance and Administration, both corresponding to "Vizerektor," constitute the university’s leadership.  

The Advisory Board advises the Campus Director on matters pertaining to visibility and reputation in regional business, cultural, and educational communities. The Advisory Board provides a complementary advisory function to the University Council’s control and monitoring functions in three meeting per year.

Its members play a vital role in improving the competitiveness of the university’s academic programs by providing insights into market needs and external funding opportunities, thus fostering critical linkages between the university and the public and private sectors in Austria and the broader Central and Eastern European region.

The University Council (UC) meets four times a year and, among other activities, initially approves the Executive Board’s draft of the Development Plan, the introduction and discontinuation of study programs, changes to any fundamental regulations, the budgets and agreements with the EB on planned annual performance as well as the annual reports and financial statements prior to reporting to the General Assembly for final approval. For purposes of transparency, the UC invites representatives from the University Senate and the Works Council to all regular meetings.

Current members of the UC:

  • Dr. Ryan Guffey, Director General for Global Campuses, Webster University
  • Dr. William Lynch, Professor Emeritus from Webster University
  • Richard Ryffel, Senior Director of Philanthropy, Beyond Housing and
  • Dr. Stefan Zapotocky, Chairman of the Board of Directors at RPR Privatstiftung Vienna (Chair of the University Council)          

The Webster Vienna Private University Senate represented by Bátora Jozef, Nikos Antonakakis, Andrea Gaal, Podzic Nermin, Fasching-Gray Benjamin, Tobias Gerber (December 2024).

The University Senate represents the interests of faculty, scientific support and administrative staff, and students enabling them to participate in matters of strategic development and quality management. The Senate comprises members elected by permanent and adjunct faculty, staff and students.

The Senate’s primary responsibilities are in academic matters. It participates in the development of the university and the academic programs, in enacting and amending curricula and determining academic degrees. It also plays a central role in governance matters, particularly as pertains to appointment procedures. 

The Working Group on Equal Opportunities (WGEO) is responsible for combating gender discrimination as well as discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion or conviction, age or sexual orientation by university governing bodies, and for advising and supporting the university’s members and governing bodies in connection with these issues.

It proposes an annual Affirmative Action Plan for Managing Diversity and the Advancement of Women and monitors, after its approval, the plan’s compliance. The WGEO consists of four members elected by the University Senate of which at least two are women. The chair of the WGEO serves as the university’s Diversity Manager and acts as the coordinator of its actions and as the primary contact person for requests from outside. 

The Works Council represents the rights and interests of the employees at WVPU; it receives updates from the university leadership and is consulted on any adaptations to the working environment, personnel changes, and norms where applicable.

The Works Council is currently composed of four representatives elected every five years in compliance with the Labour Constitution Act (ArbVG), the Works Council Election Ordinance (BRWO 1974) and the Works Council Rules of Procedure (BRGO 1974). 

The Student Government Association (SGA) represents individual and collective student interest vis-à-vis other interest groups at WVPU. The SGA is an independently financed organization consisting of students holding official mandates and offices operating according to the Federal Act on the Student Representative Organizations, relevant guidelines of the Austrian National Union of Students (ÖH), and its own Constitution.

Webster Vienna organizational chart