Daniël Wigboldus announces early retirement from presidency

08 Jul 2024

Daniël Wigboldus will be leaving his position as President for the Executive Board as of January; four months before the designated end of his term. It is not yet known what he will do next.

Wigboldus states that Radboud University’s Executive Board will be facing some important choices which will determine its course in the long term. ‘Therefore, in the best interests of the university, I want to already make room for a new President a few months before the end of my appointment term’, Wigboldus explains on the university website.

Major files
Wigboldus took over in May 2017 from President Gerard Meijer, who had left for Berlin. Before that, Wigboldus was the dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences. He is a professor of Social Psychology and an expert on prejudice and stereotypes.

Daniël Wigboldus during Radboud Rocks 2015. Photo: Marjolein van Diejen

Wigboldus was involved in a lot of major university files for the past seven years, such as its new strategy and identity. The university’s import to society was a starting point for him. The new strategy was titled A Significant Impact; television and newspapers showed ads with the university presenting itself as a world-fixer.

Hectic year
The past year may have been the most hectic in Wigboldus’ entire managerial career. It already started at the introduction, when a fight broke out on the normally friendly introduction market. Members of right-nationalist student association GNSV were wounded in the scuffle.

The university was almost constantly in the spotlight from September onwards. First came the news that a psychology professor showed transgressive behaviour towards a student. Not long after, the current dean of the Social Sciences faculty started an investigation. The results of that investigation still have not been made public.

Daniël Wigboldus during the occupation of the Erasmusbuilding. Photo: Johannes Fiebig

A few days later, De Gelderlander reported that a complaint had been filed against rector Han van Krieken for sexual harassment in the past. The affair forced Van Krieken to resign three weeks before the university’s centenary. Wigboldus was then faced with the difficult task of explaining why the complaint had never been made public. Afterwards, the Executive Board announced a new plan of action to improve social safety on campus.

This past spring was all about Radboud University’s ties with Israeli universities. Particularly, the occupations of the Erasmus building and Thomas van Aquino 1 are etched into the university’s memory. Wigboldus showed up in person to reclaim the Erasmus building at its occupation, after which riot police stepped in and cleared the building.

The Supervisory Board thanks Wigboldus for all he has done ‘for Radboud University, the Nijmegen society, and the international academic community.’ The supervisor also announced that they would quickly commence preparations for his succession. There will be a (public) vacancy.

It is not yet known what Wigboldus will do after his presidency. A spokesperson has stated that he is looking towards the future.

Translated by Jasper Pesch

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