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Prof. Jouke de Vries new President of the Board of the University of Groningen

26 June 2018

The Supervisory Board of the University of Groningen (UG) has appointed Prof. Jouke de Vries President of the Board of the University from 1 October 2018 for a term of four years. De Vries is currently Dean of the University of Groningen’s Campus Fryslân. He will succeed Prof. Sibrand Poppema, who will be retiring from the position after ten years. The University Council issued a positive recommendation regarding the appointment of Prof. De Vries.

‘We are delighted that we are able to appoint Jouke de Vries as the new President of the Board’, says Tjibbe Joustra, chair of the Supervisory Board (RvT) of the UG. ‘We consider him the perfect person to lead the UG for the next four years and look forward to working with him. We especially appreciate the incredible involvement of the University community in Groningen in the search for a new President.’

Jouke de Vries: ‘I am very proud and honoured to be chosen to lead this wonderful university, which has been firmly rooted in the Northern Netherlands since 1614 but has always had an eye to the outside world. In the past three years, my team and I have been working in Leeuwarden on the successful foundation of Campus Fryslân. I can now hand that task over with confidence while retaining overall responsibility for our activities in Friesland as President of the Board. The UG has grown in many different respects in recent years, and now has a leading position in the field of the quality of teaching and research. Students give our teaching positive assessments and our academic research attracts a lot of international attention. I want to hold open discussions with the academic community about our strategy as a University and involve all echelons of the University.’


Dozens of candidates responded to the publication of the vacancy on 27 March 2018. In discussions with the Appointment Committee, the number of candidates was reduced to eight, four men and four women. After the first round of interviews, a smaller number of candidates were invited to the second round. The committee unanimously selected Jouke de Vries to propose to the Supervisory Board.

The committee comprised:

  • T.H.J. Joustra, LLM, chair of the RvT (chair of the BAC)
  • W. Reehoorn, LLM, member of the UG RvT, chair of the Financial Audit Committee of the RvT
  • Ms A.S. Roeters, member of the UG RvT, chair of the Quality Assurance Audit Committee of the RvT
  • H.J.S. Wondergem, UG student representative, proposed by the University Council
  • Dr K. Linke, UG staff representative, proposed by the University Council

Exceptional track record

In the opinion of the committee, Prof. Jouke de Vries satisfies the profile drawn up by the RvT in every respect. He has an exceptional track record, both as an academic and as an administrator. He was Professor of Public Administration at Leiden University and Dean of Campus The Hague, part of Leiden University. Campus The Hague became a great success under his leadership. He is currently Professor of Governance and Public Policy at the UG and Dean of Campus Fryslân.

De Vries has a network in The Hague that is second to none, as well as in the North, where as Dean of Campus Fryslân he deliberately sought collaboration in the region. The philosophy of this new Faculty is Global Challenges and Local Solutions. He knows his way around the complex administrative organization that is a university and has a clear vision for the future of the UG, which in his view must be achieved in dialogue with the academic community.

Prof. Jouke de Vries

Prof. Jouke de Vries
Prof. Jouke de Vries

Jouke de Vries (1960) studied Political Sciences at the University of Amsterdam, specializing in public administration. In 1984 he was appointed Assistant Professor by the Public Administration department. He gained a PhD in 1989 with a thesis on land policy and cabinet crises. His supervisors were Professor Hand Daudt and Professor Hans Daalder.

In 1999 De Vries was appointed Professor of Public Administration at Leiden University. He also became the academic director and later Dean of Campus The Hague, part of Leiden University. Under his leadership, Campus The Hague developed into an internationally renowned academic centre with thousands of students. De Vries regularly publishes in Dutch and international journals. Among his most important publications are: Paars en de managementstaat and Een onderbroken evenwicht in de Nederlandse politiek (about the ‘purple’ cabinet and the revolt by Fortuyn). He was also editor of an international trilogy about budgetting issues in OECD countries. De Vries has given several important lectures, including the Thorbecke Lecture in 2005 and the Mayor Lecture in 2008. He has been a columnist for the Staatscourant and written articles for several national newspapers.

In May 2015, De Vries was appointed Professor of Governance and Public Policy at the University of Groningen. He is the dean of the eleventh Faculty of the UG (Campus Fryslân) in Leeuwarden. In Friesland, De Vries was responsible for building up the new Faculty, which in the meantime is up and running. The Faculty has a PhD school, ten Master’s degree programmes and a University College.

More about the profile and the application committee for the new President:

Last modified:27 March 2020 4.53 p.m.
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