Dear Mr Rector Magnificus / Dear Rutger,

Last Friday, on 20 November, we received the news that you are resigning from the rectorship as of 1 January 2021. For many of us, this news was not just unexpected, but very sad, even though we greatly respect your decision to use your expertise to try and make a difference for troubled adolescents and young adults.

Ground-breaking research

When you assumed the position of Rector Magnificus of this university in June 2018, you were an unknown quantity to many people, but you quickly made a name for yourself. It soon became obvious that you were committed to planting our university firmly in society and that you wanted to do so in association with the EUR community. When we drew up our Creating Positive Societal Impact strategy, we worked with ground-breaking research and innovative education on an inclusive university firmly rooted in society.

New employees, including prominent scientists, soon joined EUR, inspired by these wonderful developments and keen to join in. Academics who had joined the university earlier were granted the opportunity to develop their talents and became even keener to work on EUR’s behalf. Significant steps have been made in all these initiatives in the last two and a half years, and the first results can be seen by all. The improved relations between the faculties, the interdisciplinary collaboration projects, the focus on creating a sense of security, the faster-growing number of women professors and the many inspiring programmes that have been created are only the beginning of the ‘Erasmian way’ we are seeking to establish, but we have every right to be proud of them already.

Establish new initiatives

In all those collaborative projects, you showed that you are a person who has his own ideas but is also willing to listen to others. A person who is brave enough to get off the beaten track so as to be able to establish new initiatives, even though they may not necessarily be the easiest solution. You proved to be a rector and academic capable of relating the value of academic knowledge to the problems faced by society. In our meetings and conversations, we found that you were a highly motivated and energetic person with a high level of integrity. You are the kind of rector we like at Erasmus University Rotterdam – a rector whose decisions we respect, even if they do not always align with how we view things ourselves.

Too short

Two and a half years is a short period. As far as we are concerned, it is too short. We would have loved to keep going with you as our figurehead, but we have a great deal of faith in the road we have embarked on and will do our utmost to keep walking down that road. So we hope that we will still be able to call on your expertise in your capacity as an EUR professor, but right now, we mainly wish to express our appreciation and gratitude for the motivational way in which you have collaborated with us so far, and for all the opportunities you have created along the way.

Kind regards,

Semiha Denktaş
Antoinette de Bont
Eveline Crone
Moniek Buijzen
Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens

Rateb Abawi, Eddie Adelmund, Ernst Bakker, Aleid Barmentlo, Hans van de Berg, Dianne Bevelander, Marilisa Boffo, Lex Burdorf, Arwin van Buuren, Pearl Dykstra, Jurian Edelenbos, Imad El Kaka, Hanan El Marroun, Melisa Ersoy, Ingmar Franken, Maarten Frens, Meri Georgievska-van de Laar, Pursey Heugens,  Claartje ter Hoeven, Arfan Ikram, Gabriele Jacobs, Vincent Jaddoe, Jeroen Jansz, Lilian Jillissen, Jasper Klasen, Frank van Lenthe, Derk Loorbach, Noor Lourens, Lucas Meijs,  Wilfred Mijnhardt, Michiel Muller, Danielle Remmerswaal, Kirsten Rohde, Gerrit Schipper, Peter Scholten, Hans Smits, Marguerite Soeteman-Reijnen, Mireille Spapens, Bram Steijn, Margo Strijbosch, Hanneke Takkenberg, Daniel van Vliet, Vareska van de Vrande, Max Wagenaar, Michel van der Wel, Marijke Weustink – van Ditzhuyzen, Brigitte Widdershoven, Farshida Zafar.