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In Memoriam: Maurice Bouwens (1962-2020)

It is with great sadness that we have learnt about the unexpected passing of our esteemed colleague Maurice Bouwens on 8 September 2020. Maurice was only 57 years old.

Since 2008, Maurice Bouwens was employed by the University of Twente as a policy adviser in the department of Strategy and Policy. He was a former student of psychology and theology at Radboud University in Nijmegen, where he was employed as a policy adviser and managing director of the Institute for Management Research.

As a policy adviser at the University of Twente, he committed himself to strategically putting the UT on the map of Dutch higher education and research. He was active in various fields, such as PhD and PDEng policies, strategic research programming, strategic partnerships, research infrastructures, developing new research strategies and, more recently, investigating the impact of the Covid-19 situation on researchers and research facilities. Other than managing these areas of policy, he was actively working as the secretary of UT’s commission for research and was a highly valued adviser to the Board of Directors, as well as for the administration of faculties and institutes.

Maurice sensed a great commitment to the University of Twente. He was a well-liked and remarkable colleague: with his expertise, strategic insights, knowledge of different areas of policy and current affairs, he was a valuable point of contact and sparring partner for his colleagues. Where needed he would bring discussions to a head and he always considered wider contexts. Not only did Maurice think of long-term implications, he also thought of concrete, short-term action to get things moving in the right direction. This he always did with the greatest consideration, but also with humour and by putting things into context.

Maurice was very committed to his close colleagues within the Department of Strategy and Policy, but also outside of his immediate circle. To his colleagues, he was a rock: calm, reliable and helpful. His door was always open for those who had questions or things to discuss. As a superior, he gave his colleagues the space and trust they needed. Maurice did not feel the need to be in the spotlight and stimulated his colleagues to be proactive in their field of work and to branch out within and outside of UT.

We are shocked and saddened by Maurice’s passing and extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, children, relatives and friends at this difficult time. We are truly sorry for their loss, which is also a huge loss to his colleagues and the University of Twente.

There is a digital book of condolences for those who wish to express their sympathy. This book of condolences will be handed to Maurice’s family in due time.