On his decision to step down, Van den Brink said: “The end of this calendar year feels like the right moment for me to make room for further renewal in the UCR Board. The last years have been turbulent with the Corona-pandemic, a reorganization the year prior, and the need to renew our identity in the competitive and innovative world of University Colleges. Thanks to our fantastic students and colleagues, UCR has risen to these challenges. We have brought innovation with the integration of engineering in our existing Liberal Arts and Science program, which we have been able to do with the much-appreciated support of the provincial and national government. UCR is further developing its continued focus on community-engaged forms of learning in the liberal arts. We have succeeded in improving facilities with the acquisition of our new building, Anne, and the Joint Research Center at HZ, in which we participate in for state-of-the-art science labs in the municipality of Middelburg, which has supported us throughout. With our rapidly growing student community we are crafting our institution’s responsiveness to the deep pluralism in educational and campus life. Finally, UCR has recently appointed a new Managing Director, Etienne de Jager, with an innovative vision of how to market and streamline our organization as the unique stand-alone college it is. In all, I think that many opportunities have been created and that it is now time to step aside for a new Dean who will bring new energies to our unique organization.”

Henk Kummeling, Rector of Utrecht University : “I am very grateful to Bert for his commitment and the great contribution he has made to the development of UCR with his vision and his big heart for education. Thanks to Bert’s contribution, new connections between UCR and Utrecht University have been established. That is crucial. We will miss Bert’s humor and analytical skills in the administrative discussions at the university. I wish him much pleasure and success in teaching and research, for which he will get more time again next year.”

Gerard van Harten, Chair of UCR’s Board of Trustees: “Bert has been the Dean at UCR in very challenging times. Under his guidance, UCR has added the Engineering track and made a significant step in increasing the number of new incoming students. As Board of Trustees, we thank Bert for all he did for UCR and are glad that he will remain a professor at UCR.”

“Bert exudes passion for UCR,” says Etienne de Jager (MD at University College Roosevelt). “In his dealings with students and colleagues, both on and off campus, Bert always takes people’s individual interests to heart. He loves this place, its students and its employees. Under his Deanship he worked tirelessly to not just call us a community, but make us one. I am deeply grateful for his invaluable contribution to our college and the personal support he has offered me over the years. Even though he will still be around, he will be sorely missed as Dean.”

Bert van den Brink will remain a professor at University College Roosevelt and Utrecht University, and looks forward to a life of full concentration on teaching and scholarship. The Executive Board of Utrecht University will, in consultation with the Board of Trustees of UCR, start the search for a successor. UCR Council will play an advisory role in this process.