In Memoriam Frans van Waarden

In the night of Wednesday 15 September, after a long illness, Prof. dr. Frans van Waarden (1950) passed away.

Frans was above all a globetrotter. He spent part of his childhood in Suriname, studied Liberal Arts and Sciences in Toronto, Canada, and thereafter sociology at Leiden University. In Leiden  he obtained his doctorate in 1989  with a thesis entitled 'Organizational power of interest groups', supervised by Cor Lammers and Cees Schuyt. After working for several years at the University of Konstanz, Frans came to the UU in 1993 as full professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science (ASW) on 'Issues of Intervention, Organization and Policy'. He started out heading the Organization and Policy section of ASW within the interfaculty Center for Policy and Management and was part of the AWSB graduate school. In addition, he worked as a researcher at Stanford University, the NIAS and the European University Institute in Florence. His last research project before his retirement was a five year international program with many international partners on barriers for European citizenship (bEUcitizen).

His deep involvement with the internationally oriented University College Utrecht was a natural continuation of his years at ASW. He taught a series of political science courses at UCU where students very much appreciated his way of teaching. With his dedication to students and PhD students, his sympathetic personality and his broad and interdisciplinary approach to social phenomena, he has left a lasting mark on UCU. He also inspired many students outside of UCU with his impressive knowledge and original analysis of organizations, social issues and public-private relationships. He was at his best in divers international groups, such as also the biannual post graduate course 'Challenges of Europe' at the Inter University Center Dubrovnik, in which he was involved between 1998 and 2018.

He aspired to fulfill the three roles that defined for him a good scientist: the curious explorer, the detective story writer who solves mysteries and the artist who comes up with new, original images.

Frans van Waarden is best known by his colleagues as an erudite, interdisciplinary and inspiring scientist. We will miss him as a person, as a colleague and as an original thinker.

Trudie Knijn, Emeritus Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University.

Wieger Bakker, professor of Society Oriented Higher Education, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University