Rector Henk Kummeling bids farewell at Dies 2025

Prof. Dr. Henk Kummeling (63) will step down as rector magnificus of Utrecht University (UU) effective March 26, 2025. He made that public today. Kummeling has been part of the Executive Board as rector since June 1, 2018. He discussed with the Supervisory Board last fall that he did not want to fully serve his term as rector because the main policy goals with which he took office are now firmly on track. Furthermore, he feels the need to return to being more engaged in teaching and research as a university professor.

Henk Kummeling

The departure of the rector comes about a year earlier than the end date of his appointment period. According to Kummeling, this is a well-considered choice. "It is special to be allowed to hold this position and I will be fully committed to it until my last day as rector. At the same time, I notice that I want to devote more time to my field as a professor again, because there are many national and international developments in constitutional law. At the 389th anniversary of Utrecht University, I would like to address the guests of the Dies Natalis in the Dom Church one last time. After that, I bid my farewell.”

More doors opened in connection with society

Anton Pijpers, President of the Executive Board is extremely grateful to Kummeling for his commitment, skill and human approach in university administration over the past years. "With Henk we do not only lose a tremendously pleasant, relatable and wise person in the board. I also have great respect and appreciation for the way in which he helped to open the doors of Utrecht University further in our connection with society."

Driving role in open science and Utrecht educational model

Karin Laglas, President of the Supervisory Board of Utrecht University, praises Kummeling's enormous contribution to the development of education and research at the university, for example with his driving role in open science and the further development of the Utrecht educational model. "With his vision of the role the university should play in society, he is a perfect ambassador for multidisciplinary research and academic education. With his calm and engaged governance style, he has played an important role in keeping the university on course during turbulent times. We will certainly miss his broad knowledge and great reflective ability, as well as his humorous contribution, but we understand and respect the choice he is now making."

In addition to Henk Kummeling, the Executive Board consists of President Prof. Dr. Anton Pijpers and Vice President Dr. Margot van der Starre. Chiara Stam is student assessor on the Executive Board until September 1, 2024. She will be succeeded by Niels Vreeswijk in September. The procedure to find a successor for Kummeling will be started in the near future.

Henk Kummeling

Kummeling (1961) studied law in Nijmegen, where he also received his doctorate in 1988. In 1994 he was appointed professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Tilburg University. Since 1995 he has been a professor in Utrecht, where he was dean of the Faculty of Law, Economics, Governance and Organization from September 2008 to September 2014. In 2015, the Executive Board appointed him university professor because of his great academic record.

In addition, Kummeling was chairman of the committee that introduced the new "Utrecht educational model" between 2002 and 2006, chairman of the Dutch Electoral Council (Kiesraad) from 2005 to 2016 and, since 2022, chairman of the State Commission on the Rule of Law, which investigated the functioning of the Dutch rule of law. He is Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and Member of the Board of the International Association of Universities, a position he will continue to hold after his retirement as Rector.