Profile of the Vice President of the Executive Board of Utrecht University

Profile of the Vice President of the Executive Board of Utrecht University, September 2020


Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is a European research university focused on providing high-quality education closely linked to academic research. Four multidisciplinary strategic themes define the University's profile, within the compass of which researchers collaborate across faculty boundaries: Life Sciences, Dynamics of Youth, Pathways to Sustainability and Institutions for Open Societies. The University is very well placed in international rankings and belongs to the League of European Research Universities. The teaching and research are inspired by academic and social issues. The University has selected four core values — ambition, inspiration, commitment, independence — which have been translated into a code of conduct for staff and students. The 2025 Strategic Plan will be adopted at the end of 2020 and will inform the University's development over the next few years. The University has built strategic alliances with such parties as UMC Utrecht, Eindhoven University of Technology and Wageningen University & Research, as well as at international level with the University of Toronto and University of Sydney.

Organisation of university

The organisation of the University is compliant with the Dutch Higher Education and Research Act (WHW: Wet op het hoger onderwijs en wetenschappelijk onderzoek) and is laid down in the administrative and management regulations. Utrecht University has seven faculties (Science, Veterinary Medicine, Humanities, Medicine, Geosciences, Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Law, Economics and Governance), in addition to University College Utrecht and University College Roosevelt. The Faculty of Medicine's organisation has been integrated into UMC Utrecht. University College Roosevelt is affiliated with Utrecht University. Management of the faculties is the responsibility of the deans. The University has another two services: the University Library and the University Corporate Offices. Students and employees are represented at University level in the University Council and the University Labour Representation Board.

Utrecht University endorses the Code for Good Governance in Dutch Universities of the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and was also involved in drawing up this code.

Executive Board

The Executive Board's remit encompasses the management and administration of the University. The Board comprises three members, namely a President (Prof. Anton Pijpers), a Rector Magnificus (Prof. Henk Kummeling) and a Vice President (vacant). The members of the Executive Board are appointed by and report to the Supervisory Board. Focus areas have been allocated to the Board members. The portfolio of the Vice President of the Executive Board currently encompasses finance, ICT, facilities management, human resources, sustainability and diversity. Future portfolio allocation will be decided in consultation, with real estate and campus development expected to be included in the Vice President's portfolio in due course. The Executive Board's working method is based on the principle of collegial administration, with the President playing a coordinating and unifying role. Integrality – a comprehensive approach – is a significant key term in the Executive Board's working method and in the organisational management. The Executive Board operates in a transparent and respectful manner with regard to staff and student representation and incorporates input from the University Council in its decision-making.


The University's 2025 Strategic Plan, which is to be adopted at the end of 2020, might be considered ambitious. The task facing the Executive Board is to achieve the objectives in conjunction with the University community to capitalise on a rapidly changing environment as an institution. Key to these aims will be continuing to embed the four strategic themes in research, teaching and support, fostering multidisciplinarity and developing open science. In terms of education, the University will be guided by quality rather than by student numbers, opting to enhance diversity, bolster students' international orientation and increase the breadth of curriculum content. Utrecht University will continue to expand its strategic alliance with UMC Utrecht, Eindhoven University of Technology and Wageningen University & Research over the next few years. At Utrecht Science Park, in conjunction with various regional partners, the University is co-developing a unique combination of major research institutes and research departments of companies, organisations and institutes. To achieve its educational and research ambitions, the University is investing in personal contact and close-knit communities, with a strong focus on the well-being of staff and students and reducing work pressure. Education and research are supported by innovative, comprehensive, sustainable operational management, high-quality accommodation and modern facilities. Utrecht University is working towards a sustainable future.


Utrecht University is seeking an experienced board member whose philosophy and actions will dovetail with the University's core values and are compatible with the nature of an academic community. The right candidate will have excellent communication skills, operate transparently, unify and connect, and be results-oriented. They will be a team player in the Executive Board and in communication with the deans, will be alert to the needs of the organisation and will generate support within the University community by fostering connection and visibility.

The right candidate will have an affinity with and demonstrable experience of higher education and an instinctive feel for relationships within higher education. Their portfolio composition will be determined in consultation among the three members of the Executive Board, with the emphasis in the Vice President's portfolio being on operational management (including finance). They will have a demonstrable affinity with the topics of diversity and sustainability, which are pertinent to the University.

The right candidate will have experience of managing a professional organisation in the public or semi–public sector and of managing complex change processes in an inspiring, motivational way. They will be alert to the fact that providing direction and generating support are both crucial in this regard — as is communicating on decisions in a clear and transparent manner, both internally and externally — and will acknowledge and recognise the role of staff and student representation in decision-making, as well as the role of professionals in policy implementation within the organisation. The new board member will contribute to effective collaboration with Utrecht Science Park partners, local and regional authorities, national bodies (SURF, VSNU, NWO, KNAW) and other relevant actors.

In view of the current composition of the Executive Board and the Board of Deans, applications from women are particularly welcome.

Terms of employment

The appointment is for four years, with the potential for reappointment. Terms of employment will be agreed. Utrecht University complies with the Standardisation of Top Executive Remuneration from the Public Purse Act (Wnt: Wet Normering uit Publieke Middelen gefinancierde Beloning Topfunctionarissen).

Selection procedure and applications

Executive Search agency Perrett Laver has been asked to support the Supervisory Board in the recruitment procedure for the Vice President, Executive Board of Utrecht University. You can express your interest in this position by uploading an application letter with your motivation and an up-to-date curriculum vitae via the Perrett Laver website, mentioning the reference number 4805. For questions and information you can contact Thomas Modder by telephone via or by telephone on +31 (0)6 3908 9910. The deadline for your response is 7 October 2020 at 09:00.