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Germany’s Top Father is from the University of Freiburg

Marcel Oettrich Chosen as „Exemplary Father“

Freiburg, 12.03.2010

Germany’s Top Father is from the University of Freiburg

Marcel Oettrich with his children Hannah and Paul

Marcel Oettrich from the Office of Marketing and Knowledge Management of the University of Freiburg has been chosen as Germany’s “Top Father 2010.” The 5,000 euro award is conferred by the whole grain bakery Mestemacher under the aegis of Federal Minister for Family Affairs Dr. Kristina Schröder. Each year since 2006 the company has recognized two top fathers who practice a cooperative marriage and family model in which both parents succeed in achieving a healthy balance between family and career.

The jury chose Marcel Oettrich for the distinction because he shares equal responsibility with his wife for the upbringing of their eleven-year-old daughter Hannah and their nine-year-old son Paul. This common commitment to family enabled his wife, Dr. Yvonne Ziegler, to complete her doctoral degree. Hannah and Paul were born while Oettrich was completing his degree in art history, German studies, and European ethnology. The day care service of the Freiburg Office of Student Services helped the pair to complete their studies without interruption.

Since January 2008 top father Oettrich has participated in the University of Freiburg’s „Home Office“ pilot project. This means that he fulfills part of his responsibilities in the areas of web design and student portal at home, enabling him to manage his time more flexibly and take equal part in the upbringing of his children. His wife works part time as an academic advisor at the Institute of Psychology and is a lecturer at the Department of Art History. In addition, she works as a freelance art critic.

Dr. Matthias Schenek, Head of Administration of the University of Freiburg and head of the work group „Family-Friendly University,“ values Oettrich for his remarkably straightforward personality, his high social competence, and his goal-directed work ethic. „It is important to increase the visibility of societal role models – such as with this distinction,“ said Schenek at the award ceremony in Berlin. The goal of the work group, whose concept „Family-Friendly University: Perspectives for the Years 2009–2011“ was developed by Schenek, is to further improve the already excellent conditions for employees and students with a family by expanding the university’s centralized and decentralized day care facilities in the coming two years. The university currently provides 90 spaces for the children of employees at its own day care center as well as 120 additional spaces for the children of students at the Office of Student Services. Concretely, the concept calls for further day care spaces, longer loan periods at the University Library, and more possibilities for part-time studies.

„Today more than ever the university is called upon to make optimal use of the potential of women and men and create family-friendly solutions to enhance the professional achievement and ensure the personal well-being of its employees and students,“ observed the Head of Administration in his laudatory speech.


Eva Voß
University of Freiburg
Director – Office for Gender and Diversity
Phone: ++49-761/ 203-9054