Prof. Rianne Letschert appointed as new UM Rector Magnificus from 1 September 2016

The Supervisory Board of Maastricht University is pleased to announce the appointment of Prof. R.M. (Rianne) Letschert to Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University. She will succeed Prof. Luc Soete for a period of four years, with the possibility of extending it. The official handover of the position will take place on 1 September 2016.

Professor Rianne Letschert (39) is professor of victimology and international law, working with the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT, Tilburg University). In 2005 she earned her PhD in international law. Letschert is a member of the Supervisory Board of Slachtofferhulp Nederland (an organisation that helps victims in the Netherlands) and is an expert consultant for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on victims’ issues. She joined De Jonge Akademie (The Young Academy) in 2013 and has been its chairperson since 1 April 2015 (due to her appointment, she will resign this position). She was awarded a Vidi grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in 2015. That same year, she was a member of the EU Identification Committee that selected the first seven members of the High Level Panel Group of the EU Scientific Advisory Committee. In 2016, she received a fellowship from the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS-KNAW) offered by HiiL Innovating Justice. She is also a Life Member of Clare Hall in Cambridge.

The selection committee was composed of members of the Supervisory Board, the Executive Board, the Management Team and the Confidential Committee of the University Council, under the chairpersonship of Prof Ursula Nelles.

The selection committee assessed all the nominated internal and external candidates based on the profile, with a preference to find suitable female candidates. According to the selection committee, the chosen candidate perfectly fits the UM profile. She has built an impressive track record in the field of education and research and has extensive administrative experience. In addition, the new Rector Magnificus has a network in the Netherlands and Brussels that is relevant to UM, and has a compelling vision of the strategic development of UM, also in conjunction with national developments.

After hearing the recommendations of the deans and the University Council, the Supervisory Board unanimously adopted the advice of the selection committee. Truze Lodder, Supervisory Board Chair: ‘We are delighted that Rianne Letschert wants to make this step in her career. The arrival of a young, female rector will represent a change in the dynamics of our Executive Board. That natural movement will be valuable for all levels of our young university; innovation in education and research will be of paramount importance.’

Rianne Letschert: ‘I’m really looking forward to this wonderful challenge and consider it a great honour to be able to assume the role of rector at Maastricht University. With its strong international orientation and its well-chosen scientific education and research profile, Maastricht University is a dream of a challenge for me as the new rector.’

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