Univ. Amsterdam names interim chair

Rector magnificus Dymph van den Boom has been appointed the interim chairman of the University of Amsterdam's Executive Board, NRC reports. She is temporarily succeeding Louise Gunning, who resigned on Sunday.

The board members have expressed their confidence in Van den Boom, the Board of Trustees of the university reports. Van den Boom has been a member of the Executive Board since October 1st, 2007. She has been connected to the UvA since 1996 as Professor of General Education. She was also the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences between 2001 and 2007.

Edgar du Perron, Dean of the Faculty of Law, will be the temporary vice rector. The reform agenda will be one of his primary duties, which is developed in collaboration with the academic community, according to the Board of Trustees. The basis of this agenda is the ten point plan which is intended to lead to more democracy and transparency in the university. Students have been performing actions on these two issues for weeks, starting with an 11 day occupation of the Bungehuis and then 6 weeks in the Maagdenhuis.

A number of parties called Gunning's resignation "sensible and inevitable". Students and lecturers hope that her resignation will lead to them having more say in the university. Gunning hopes that her departure will give the Boards of Trustees "space and time" to put together a renewed Executive Board. "An Executive Board that is able to bring peace back into the University of Amsterdam and give leadership to the modernization in the time to come, starting with the ten point plan." she said.