Rutger Engels steps down as Rector Magnificus of Erasmus University Rotterdam

Prof. Dr. Rutger Engels will step down from the position of Rector Magnificus of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) with effect from 1 January 2021. Post rectorship, Prof. Engels will continue his work at EUR as a professor, focusing on improving mental health prevention and policy. The Supervisory Board has appointed Prof. Dr. Frank van der Duijn Schouten as interim rector with effect from 1 January 2021.

The Supervisory Board respects the decision of Prof. Engels and is grateful for what he has done for the EUR in recent years. "Rutger Engels has devoted a lot of energy and commitment to our university. He has been a driving force in the development and implementation of our Strategy 2024, in building greater convergence with the Erasmus Medical Centre and TU Delft, and the culture campus. We, therefore, regret Rutger's resignation from the post. The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will continue the strategy and convergence process unabated," said Jaap Winter, Chairman of the Supervisory Board.

'I feel a strong call'

Prof. Rutger Engels (1968) cited personal reasons for his departure, particularly the Corona crisis, which has prompted all of us, including him, to reflect on where he could best focus his contribution and commitment. "I came to a conclusion for myself that there is a huge need to improve policies and interventions in the field of mental health, especially for young people and young adults. I feel a strong call to take responsibility for this at this time in particular. My knowledge as a Professor of Developmental Psychopathology and my experience as Chairman of the Board of the Trimbos Institute and as Rector Magnificus will help in this respect. It has been with incredible pleasure and energy over the past few years that I have worked as Rector Magnificus for this great university, and I am incredibly proud of how we have all tackled the Corona pandemic, despite the workload and uncertainty about the future," said Rutger Engels.

Prof. Engels will continue to work tirelessly with all those involved in managing the impact of the Corona crisis on EUR until the handover of the Rectorship.

Temporary replacement and follow-up procedure

Prof. Frank van der Duijn Schouten has been appointed as interim Rector Magnificus. This decision was taken by the EUR's Supervisory Board after consultation with the Executive Board, Deans, and the University Council's Confidentiality Committee. The appointment will take effect on 1 January 2021 for a maximum period of nine months, with an appointment size of three days per week. The recruitment procedure for the new Rector Magnificus will start in the coming months.

"Frank van der Duijn Schouten is a very experienced administrator and knows EUR well through the numerous administrative roles he has held. We are pleased that he is willing to step in temporarily as Rector Magnificus", says Jaap Winter.

About Frank van der Duijn Schouten

Prof. dr. Frank van der Duijn Schouten (1949), emeritus professor of mathematical decision making, studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at VU Amsterdam and obtained his PhD in 1979 at Leiden University. Throughout his career, he has held the some of the highest administrative positions in the academic world, becoming Rector Magnificus of Tilburg University for nine years and Rector Magnificus of VU University Amsterdam from 2013 to 2015. For EUR, he has held various board positions. Van der Duijn Schouten will resign as Interim Statutory Director EUR-Holding and Member of the Supervisory Board of Utrecht University as of 31 December 2020.

"Although under normal circumstances a stable institution such as Erasmus University Rotterdam can manage with a two-headed Executive Board for a few months, I understand that in view of the recent appointment of the two other board members, the Supervisory Board is opting for an interim rectorate. As a former dean, you do not say 'no' in such a situation if you are called upon to do so. I look forward with great confidence to working with Ed Brinksma and Ellen van Schoten over the coming months", says Prof. van der Duijn Schouten.

More information

For more information, please contact:

Rateb Abawi, Sr. Spokesperson at Erasmus University Rotterdam
Rateb.abawi@eur.nl, +31 6 3649 5419