Universiteit Leiden

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Professor Wim van den Doel new leader of Leiden-Delft-Erasmus partnership

The Executive Boards of Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam have appointed Professor Wim van den Doel as leader of the LDE alliance as of 1 February 2020. He was previously on the Executive Board of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.

The post is for a period of four years. In his new role, Van den Doel will translate the new strategy of Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (LDE), the alliance between the three universities in the province of South Holland, into a detailed programme. In this strategy, the universities have chosen to focus on the Healthy, Sustainable, Digital and Inclusive Society. They will intensify their collaboration within each of these areas, and forge strong links with other knowledge institutions as well as with the public and private sector in the region. The aim is to further consolidate the position of LDE and the metropolitan region of South Holland as a world leader in academic education, groundbreaking research and innovation.

Previous and other roles

Wim van den Doel is a historian and has been Professor of Contemporary History in Leiden since 2003. He is also the author of several books on Dutch colonial history. He was Dean of the Faculty of Humanities in Leiden from 2007 to 2016, and became chair of the NWO’s Social Sciences and Humanities domain and a member of the NWO Executive Board in 2017. In this role, his responsibilities included the Dutch Research Agenda, internationalisation policy and the DIFFER, NIOZ and NSCR institutes.

Intensifying and broadening the alliance

Van den Doel is delighted with his new post: ‘Further intensifying and broadening the LDE alliance is a fantastic challenge. If you ask me, it’s urgently needed: we as a society are facing major challenges that can only be tackled from an interdisciplinary perspective and with partners from society.’

Teaching and organisational management

The existing collaboration between the universities goes beyond only research. Over the coming period, efforts will also be channelled into further intensifying and broadening the collaboration in the areas of teaching and organisational management. Van den Doel: ‘The LDE universities already offer a world-class range of programmes. The main thing is to make sure these programmes are available to all students in South Holland. Significant steps have already been taken to achieve this, but, where necessary, new interdisciplinary programmes will be offered too.’

Experience will come in useful

Tim van der Hagen, Chair of LDE and Rector Magnificus and President of the Board of Delft University of Technology, believes that Van den Doel is the right person to steer the alliance through the next phase. ‘After nine successful years at the helm of an important faculty in Leiden, he has spent the last three years successfully helping shape the NWO’s transition. This too involved organising interdisciplinary collaboration, within the scope of the Dutch Research Agenda, for instance. This experience will most certainly come in useful!’

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