Board of Governors

The Board of Governors is responsible for supervising the overall management and administration of the University. The Board of Governors also provides advice to the Executive Board.  

Leiden University Board of Governors: Profile

In accordance with the provisions of the Higher Education and Academic Research Act (WHW), Leiden University is responsible for offering education and conducting research. In this context, the University offers study programmes in academic education, conducts academic research, trains future academic researchers and propagates knowledge for the benefit of society. The University aims to achieve recognition as an internationally leading research university. This ambition has been expressed in a series of university-wide institutional plans, the last of which is the 2010-2014 institutional plan entitled ‘Inspiration and Growth’.

The Board of Governors is responsible for supervising the administration and management of the entire university, ensuring observance of the applicable statutory provisions (Art. 9.8 of the WHW) and issuing advice to the Executive Board. More specifically, the Board of Governors is charged with the following:

  • Appointing, suspending, dismissing and determining the level of remuneration of the members of the Executive Board;
  • Approving the Management and Administration Regulations;
  • Approving the budget, financial statements, annual report and institutional plan;
  • If applicable, approving the common rules (as referred to in Art. 8.1);
  • Supervising the Executive Board’s compliance with its legal duties and the branch code;
  • Supervising the legitimate acquisition and effective and legitimate destination and use of funds obtained pursuant to Articles 2.5 and 2.6 (government contributions);
  • Appointing an accountant who is responsible for reporting to the Board
  • Supervising the design of a system of quality assurance 
  • Annual accountability regarding the implementation of tasks and exercise of powers in the University’s annual report.

The Board consists of five members appointed by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science. In forming the Board, the Minister aims at an even number of male and female members.

The composition of the Board of Governors takes into account the background of the above-mentioned tasks and the profile of the University. In this context, it is essential that Board members possess the broad expertise required to adequately exercise their legal responsibilities. These criteria are expressed in the following profile sketch for Board of Governors members. It should be noted that the objective is to ensure that the members of the Board of Governors collectively possess an optimal combination of knowledge, experience and skills in the field of education and research (including aspects of knowledge transfer), finance, management, and social organisations (both profit and non-profit). When filling vacancies in the Board of Governors, the precise focus in selecting candidate members may vary depending on the current composition of the Board.

Members of the Board of Governors are expected to:
  • Be able to assess the main aspects of the University’s global policy on the basis of information provided to this end by the university administration and regular work visits to various units within the institution;
  • Possess the specific expertise required for the fulfilment of their task;
  • Critically question the ideas and course of action of the university administration, as well as the resulting proposed policy and its implementation;
  • Be able to independently express their own opinions and judgments and in open communication to reach a common position representing the entire Board.

Knowledge and insight
The members of the Board of Governors are expected to collectively possess the following:

  • The financial expertise required to understand, interpret and assess the financial statements, budget and framework memoranda of the university in relation to proposed and present policy;  
  • Knowledge of current developments in academic education, research and knowledge transfer, both on the national and the international level, including aspects of their organisation and administration;
  • Insight into the functioning of large complex organisations in a dynamic social environment;
  • Ample demonstrable experience in advising, leading and/or supervising positions in public administration, industry or social organisations.

The members of the Board of Governors:

  • May not have any direct interests in the university;
  • May not simultaneously hold a position at a Ministry or be a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate;
  • Should preferably not be former administrators of the University.


The Board of Governors is responsible for ensuring that the Executive Board observes all the appropriate legislation relevant to the University, as well as the regulations, guidelines, instructions and rules arising from this legislation.  

The Board of Governors is charged with approving the University budget and the Annual Report, as well as endorsing particular regulations that are common to other institutions of higher education.

The chairman and members of the Board of Governors (one of whom is nominated by the University Council) are appointed, suspended and/or dismissed by the Minister for Education, Culture and Science. The Board of Governors is responsible to the Minister.


Postal address:
PO Box 9500, 2300 RA Leiden

Visiting address:
Rapenburg 70, 2311 EZ Leiden

Members of the Board of Governors

A.F. van der Touw (chair)

More information follows

Dr. E.E.A.M. van Welie (vice-chair)

  • Lecturer in the Master's Programme in Educational Management, Netherlands School of Educational Management (NSO) (from April 2013)

  • Doctorate, Top Institute for Evidence-Based Education Research (UvA) (July 2013)

  • Science Director, Ministry of Education (2006-2010)

  • National Chief Inspector for Senior General Secondary Education (2002-2006)

  • Senior Adviser, De Galan & Voigt, Amsterdam (2001-2003)

  • Senior Adviser to the Board of the University of Maastricht (2000-2001)

  • Senior Adviser to the Board of the University of Amsterdam (1991-2000)

  • Principal of the Mondriaan Lyceum, Amsterdam (1987-1991)

C.M.L. Hijmans van den Bergh, MBA

  • Former Chair of the Board, BoerCroon

  • Chair, Supervisory Board, ASN Investment Funds

  • Chair, Supervisory Board, ASN Green Project Funds

  • Member, Advisory Board, Spinoza Lens Foundation

  • Member, Advisory Board, Pension, Administration and Management Platform

  • Member, Advisory Board, Partners at Work

Prof. E.W. Meijer   

  • University Professor of Molecular Science and Professor of Organic Chemistry at Technical University Eindhoven

  • Special Professor in Nijmegen, Santa Barbara and Mainz

  • Co-founder and commissioner of SupraPolix BV and SyMO-Chem BV

  • Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Royal DSM

  • Scientific head of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems and the Zwaartekracht research programme on Functional Molecular Systems

  • Editor of the Journal of Polymer Science

Mrs. O. Zoutendijk MIM, BSc 

Chairman of Supervisory Board ABN AMRO Group N.V. / Bank N.V.

Term of office

  • A.F. van der Touw, chair 
    1st term  1 September 2016 - 1 September 2020
  • Dr. E.A.A.M. van Welie, vice-chair
    1st term  1 July 2013 - 1 July 2017
  • Mrs. C.M.L. Hijmans van den Bergh MBA
    1st term  1 December 2013 - 1 December 2017
  • Prof. E.W. Meijer
    1st term  1 January 2017 - 1 January 2021
  • Mrs. O. Zoutendijk MIM, BSc
    1st term  1 July 2016 - 1 July 2020


P. van Slooten, M.A. (Secretary)
+31 (0)71 527 31 53

Last Modified: 16-03-2017