Member of the Executive Board

Tilburg (NL)
28 Apr 2020
End of advertisement period
22 May 2020
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Tilburg University

Member of the Executive Board

Tilburg University

Tilburg University is an excellent academic environment in which research and education take place. Tilburg University has a high international reputation in scientific research and education, is anchored in the region, and a player in the world with a clear internationalization strategy. Under the motto “understanding society,” Tilburg University strives to advance society by deepening the understanding of that society. Connected as the university is to society, it deploys excellent research for “the good life” for everyone. Tilburg University educates its students with the aim of developing the knowledge, skills, and character they need to meet today's challenges.


Tilburg University is run under the auspices of the Catholic University of Brabant Foundation (Stichting Katholieke Universiteit Brabant). The aim of this Foundation is to promote scientific research and education with an open Catholic signature. The Board of Governors monitors the objectives of Tilburg University and fulfils the function of internal supervisor. The administrative duties and powers are largely vested in the Executive Board. At the central level, participation is organized in the University Council, which includes staff and students. At a decentralized level, employee participation takes place within the Schools and Divisions.


The primary processes of research, education, and impact are invested within the five Schools and one university business school that are diverse in size and positioning: Economics & Management; Law, Social and Behavioral Sciences; Humanities and Digital Sciences; Catholic Theology; and the TIAS School for Business and Society. The support of these processes is organized within University Services, which consists of seven Divisions: Academic Services, Executive Services, Facility Services, Finance & Control, Human Resources, Library & IT Services, and Marketing & Communication.

Tilburg University has more than 17,000 Bachelor's and (pre-)Master's students (over 18% of whom have a non-Dutch passport with approximately 100 nationalities), approximately 1,800 FTE employees of whom 1,045 FTE are academic staff and an annual turnover of over €225 million.

The university is largely housed on its own campus on the outskirts of Tilburg, with smaller locations in the center of Tilburg, Utrecht, and Den Bosch. The university's financial position is healthy, which makes it possible to facilitate the strong growth achieved in recent years.

In recent years, the university has performed well and realized a number of important innovations, including the establishment of the Jheronimus Data Science Academy in Den Bosch in collaboration with the Eindhoven University of Technology, the realization of an impact program aimed at knowledge valorization, and the establishment of a high-quality augmented reality lab.

The assignment is to capitalize even more of the existing potential in the coming years. This requires sharp, strategic choices and implementation of the intentions have been set out in a jointly designed and broadly supported Institutional Strategy (2018-2021) (clickable). At the same time, preparations for a new strategic plan for the coming period will begin at the end of 2020.

Board and management

The Executive Board is responsible for the management of Tilburg University and the preparation and implementation of the policy. The Executive Board work as a collegiate body and currently consists of three members: a President, a Vice-Chair and a Rector Magnificus. As of October 1, 2020, the positions of Rector Magnificus and President will be held by one person. This creates a vacancy in the Executive Board.

Each School is led by a board consisting of a Dean, Vice-Dean for Research, Vice-Dean for Education, and a School Director. The supporting Divisions that make up University Services are each headed by a Division Director. There are various consultative structures and consultation moments between the Executive Board, Deans, and Directors focused on knowledge exchange, deliberation, and decision-making.

The expectations of students, staff, and citizens about the way Tilburg University takes responsibility, is open to collaboration, and communicates transparently are rightly high and growing continuously. Based on the Executive Board's ultimate responsibility for the management of Tilburg University and the professional autonomy of scientists, the management philosophy is characterized by integrated management at a decentralized level, shared support, and tailored risk management. This management philosophy means that decisions are taken on the basis of broad support from Deans, Directors, and the participation body as everyone is required to show ownership, actively contribute to these consultations, make a valuable contribution to the (preparation, formation, and implementation of) decision-making, and is internally accountable for the exercise of duties and powers.

Tilburg University has a shared vision on leadership (Connected Leading) in which personal and team development and the further development of leadership is pursued by stimulating dialogue, openness, and transparency. The university's Leadership Team (Executive Board, Deans, Vice-Deans, and Directors) is an important ambassador of the leadership program.

In order to excel in mono- and multidisciplinary research and to offer excellent and innovative education, all support staff and support activities, excluding the five School Directors, are centrally bundled in Divisions that together form University Services. With a view to excellent business operations for the benefit of research, education, and impact, Tilburg University's objective is to adopt a service mentality that puts students and scientists first. The aim is to harmonize and efficiently organize the support processes and to further develop the strong partnership between the Schools and University Services.

Member of the Executive Board

As of October 1, 2020, the second term of office of the current President expires. As of that date, the Rector's Office will also become vacant (currently filled ad interim). In consultation with the University Council and the Deans, the Board of Governors has decided to establish a new role within the Executive Board, namely the role of Rector Magnificus/President of the Executive Board. The Rector Magnificus/President is also the Chair of the Executive Board and Deans Consultations and the Doctorate Board of the university, which is the body responsible for all matters concerning PhD defenses and the awarding of (honorary) doctorates, as well as for advising the Executive Board on the establishment of endowed chairs.

Professor Wim van de Donk was recently appointed to this role as of October 1, 2020. This creates a vacancy in the Executive Board in addition to the Vice-Chair and member of the Executive Board, Paulina Snijders. The portfolio of the member of the Executive Board and Vice-Rector Magnificus includes, in any case, strategic research or education policy. Complementary policy areas will be added to this portfolio aimed at improving quality in mutual collegial consultation within the Executive Board and in accordance with the profile and experience of the intended candidate.


The Vice-Rector Magnificus is a professor at a Dutch or foreign university with excellent academic credentials and a broad interest in the university's fields of science. The Vice-Rector Magnificus thus reinforces Tilburg University's profile as an international research-driven and student-centered­ university, with a strong signature, excellent research and education, and social impact. The Vice-Rector Magnificus has proven him/herself in the field of scientific research and education in his or her discipline and encourages an open culture in which great value is attached to good research practices, scientific integrity, and professional manners. Quality thinking is in her or his genes.

She or he has leadership qualities and propagates the Tilburg University leadership vision (Connected Leading). The Vice-Rector Magnificus acts on the basis of authority and persuasiveness. Communicates openly and transparently. Is decisive, and has experience in implementing decisions in a complex environment of highly educated professionals. Is pre-eminently a team player, both in the cooperation with his or her colleagues in the Executive Board in accordance with the principle of collegiate management and in the cooperation with the (Vice-)Deans, the School Directors, and the Division Directors of University Services as well as with the University Council. She or he is demonstrably connected with Tilburg University and its staff and students. She or he has excellent communication skills in English and Dutch or is able to quickly master the Dutch language.

Terms of employment

The appointment is for a term of four years, with the possibility of reappointment. Terms and conditions of employment are to be further agreed, with due observance of the prevailing conditions of the Dutch Senior Executives in the Public and Semi-Public Sector (Standards for Remuneration) Act (Wet Normering Topinkomens (WNT)).


Tilburg University is assisted in this procedure by Pieter Cortenbach van Vanderkruijs, partner in executive search. Interested parties can express their interest by sending a short motivation (including current resume) to For information, interested parties can also contact Pieter Cortenbach on +31207267272. We greatly appreciate suggestions from potentially interesting candidates.

You will receive a confirmation of receipt of your application within one working day. Please contact Vanderkruijs if you have not received this confirmation.