Today, at the Opening Academic Year, President and Chairman of the Wageningen UR Executive Board Dr Aalt Dijkhuizen announced his decision to resign from office on 1 March 2014, after serving three terms of four years. Dijkhuizen will remain active in the food & agri domain and is planning to concentrate on consultancy and supervisory work.
Wageningen UR’s university and practice-based research institutes make it one of the largest knowledge institutes in the Netherlands. In 2012, total turnover topped € 660 million and the workforce comprised more than 6,000 employees.
Dijkhuizen (1953) can look back on a highly successful period, in which Wageningen UR steadily reinforced its position. Student numbers have more than doubled and Wageningen University has been rated as the best university in the Netherlands in the National Student Survey eight years running. Wageningen UR also scores well in the international rankings. For example, Wageningen University is number one in its domain in Europe, and number two (just behind UC Davis in California) in the world.
In addition, the Campus in Wageningen has undergone visible improvements and expansion over the last 10 years. The practice-based research institutes (Wageningen UR’s largest component) are undergoing a major transition, moving from reliance on government funding to the acquisition of more funding from industry. More than half of the funding now comes from the business sector, with funding from abroad also recording a sharp increase.
Wageningen UR’s ability to work closely with both the government and private industry, often referred to as the ‘golden triangle’, is one of its most characteristic features. Dijkhuizen has always been a staunch supporter of this strategy.
As yet, no decision has been made about Dijkhuizen’s successor. The Supervisory Board will start the selection procedure as soon as possible.