Frank van der Duyn Schouten, former rector of Tilburg University and VU Amsterdam, has been appointed interim dean of the Faculty of Philosophy. Van der Duyn Schouten succeeds Jack Vromen, who resigned as dean three months earlier to concentrate on academics.

Van der Duyn Schouten is tasked with ‘exploring how philosophy can be durably anchored in the future as a fully fledged academic study’ within EUR. In a letter about the task, the Executive Board emphasises that it is not about introducing cutbacks. The new dean must advise on the programme portfolio and its financing, on the investments required to attract new academic talent and on support for research and education.

F Council needs time

The Faculty Council met the new dean last week and described its meeting as ‘pleasant’. In a letter to the Executive Board, however, the council writes that the necessary changes have already been implemented. For example, last year the faculty added an English-language double degree to the programme and made changes to the master programme, it set up a new research programme and reorganised the support.

“After a period of sowing seeds, we feel that it is crucial for the durable anchoring of philosophy to have the opportunity to harvest the fruit,” writes president Jasper van den Herik. According to the Faculty Council, it takes time to assess whether the changes have been successful. The council feels that six years is a reasonable term.

Van der Duyn Schouten is professor emeritus in Mathematics of Operations Research and was previously rector magnificus in Tilburg and at VU Amsterdam. Although he recently retired, he has been appointed for two days a week for a period of one year. He will succeed Jack Vromen on 1 October. His induction period starts this month.