Genetics professor Cisca Wijmenga will succeed Elmer Sterken as the next rector magnificus at the University of Groningen. Wijmenga will be the first female rector in the university’s 405-year history.
Professor Wijmenga will become the next rector as of 1 September, according to a press release from the university. The university press release describes Wijmenga as “a leading and well-respected academic, but also an experienced manager who has proven herself both nationally and internationally and who knows how to bring people together.” In 2015, Wijmenga won the prestigious Spinoza prize for her work on the genetics of conditions such as gluten intolerance. She is also a former Fulbright scholar and head of the genetics department at UMCG.
Another vacancy for the board will also be filled as of 1 September: Hans Biemans, who is currently the head of Corporate Control at the University, will be succeeding Jan de Jeu and will have oversight of the university’s finances. University president Jouke de Vries says that he is looking forward to working with both of the new board members: “They’re an amazing duo: a Spinoza Prize-winner and a financial wizard.”
Tjibbe Joustra, the chair of the supervisory board which is responsible for hiring the university board members, says that Wijmenga and Biemans were both unanimous choices. “Cisca Wijmenga’s appointment means that an acclaimed academic will be at the helm of our teaching and research. Hans Biemans is a valued and experienced head of Corporate Control; we can rest assured that our finances are in safe hands.”