Rianne Letschert new president of Maastricht University

Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert has been appointed president of Maastricht University (UM) by the university’s Supervisory Board. Rianne Letschert, currently Rector Magnificus of UM, will start in her new position on 1 November 2021. She will succeed Martin Paul who, after ten years at UM, is leaving to join the Ruhr Universität Bochum in Germany.

The Supervisory Board was advised by a selection committee on which, in addition to the Supervisory Board themselves, the university’s Executive Board, Board of Deans and the Confidential Committee of the University Council were represented.

‘With Rianne Letschert, UM is getting an excellent successor to Martin Paul. The Supervisory Board and the committee were unanimous; Rianne's work as rector has instilled every confidence in her ability to be a successful president in the years to come. Her leadership qualities can reach their full potential in this role as well: goal-oriented, strategic and with an eye for the human dimension. Rianne will be the president of a university which is always looking to connect, regionally and internationally. Her presidency is a logical next step,’ according to Annelies van der Pauw, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board.

Rianne Letschert: ‘I consider it an enormous honour that the organisation, and all the colleagues and students that I have gotten to know since coming to Maastricht, have put their confidence in me and are allowing me to take this step. In the past years as rector, together with Martin Paul and Nick Bos, the deans and the entire university community, I have been able to do wonderful things related to both education and research. As president, I get the chance to continue to build on the strategic choices we have made as a university and to tackle the challenges that lie ahead, not only within UM, but also externally. For example, embedding the university further in the region and addressing national issues such as the structural underfunding of universities or the internationalisation of higher education. As president, I see it as my task in the coming years to work on these topics together with the entire UM community and our network partners to shape our future. In the true UM spirit: self-aware, young at heart and optimistic!'  

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Since September 2016, Rianne Letschert has been Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University. Before her arrival at UM, she was a full professor of victimology and international law at Tilburg University where she was also the director of the International Victimology Institute Tilburg (INTERVICT). As rector, Letschert has been strongly committed to forming a diverse and inclusive university. Within UM, but also nationally, she has a pivotal role in the Recognition & Rewards programme aimed at creating a new system of recognising and rewarding academic staff. As president, she will broaden this programme to include every employee of the university and will advocate for developments that promote a new leadership culture.

As president of Maastricht University, Rianne Letschert will be primarily responsible for general administrative matters, strategy, international affairs and maintaining various external relations, including those with the government, the business community and other academic institutions.

The Maastricht University Supervisory Board will start the procedure to appoint a new rector magnificus as soon as possible.

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