Rector magnificus Thom Palstra has decided to turn over his position as rector at the University of Twente to his successor at the end of this calendar year. He will turn over his rectorship at the end of November during the Dies Natalis.
During the past years, Thom Palstra has seen an increase in student numbers and the satisfaction of students at the UT. For the past two years the UT was even awarded the title of the best Technical University in the Netherlands. The research portfolio of the UT has also developed positively. Palstra initiated the ongoing development of the Twente Education Model, for which process he received praise from the NVAO committee that visited the UT last November and December as part of the institutional quality assurance education (ITK) accreditation. Palstra was proud to hear the NVAO committee's praise about the education and the quality of education at the UT.
His decision not to enter a second term after four years of rectorship is based purely on personal considerations. Although he has taken great pleasure in his position, he nevertheless considers himself a scientist at heart more than an administrator. In Palstra’s own words: "I miss the direct scientific interaction with colleagues, graduate students and undergraduate students.
“We are very grateful to Thom for the way in which he, together with his colleagues in the Executive Board, the Deans, Scientific Directors and everyone else, has taken the UT to the next level," says Anton Schaaf, Chair of the Supervisory Board. “Thanks to Thom's leadership, in recent years a great deal has been achieved in the field of talent development. For example, thanks to the introduction of the function of UT professor level 2, with focus on education, the career opportunities for academics with a talent for teaching have increased. Thom has also supported the policy on diversity within the UT and introduced the Hypatia chairs for female professors. We understand and respect his decision and appreciate that we have ample time to find a new rector magnificus.”
During the Dies Natalis on the 27th of November this year, Thom Palstra will hand over the chain of office to his successor. After his transfer, Palstra wants to use a sabbatical to refocus on the continuation of his work as a professor of materials chemistry.