#byeHuib: AUAS says goodbye to a knighted Huib de Jong

9 Oct 2020 11:56 | Communication

During his farewell party, Huib de Jong, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), was surprised with a call from minister Ingrid van Engelshoven and councillor Simone Kukenheim, who had his wife pin the royal decoration Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau on him.

"Your merits for higher education speak for themselves and so do your other social activities," explains the Minister. Kukenheim praises the dedication of "the administrator of the outer category" for the Taskforce Teacher's Shortage and first-generation students in the city, of which he himself was once one when he started his law studies at Erasmus.

On Thursday 8 October the festive waving off of the AUAS took place. Due to the corona measures, there was limited public attendance and the event could be followed live by the AUAS community. On Twitter this led to a trending #dagHuib (#byeHuib) in AUAS circles.

Photo: Monique Kooijmans

‘Uncle Huib', pizza sessions and the metro announcer

Followers saw, among other things, a video in which students address "Uncle Huib", once even "Grandpa Huib", and look back on, for example, the pizza sessions with the chairman of the board. "A wise man with a sense of humour and very involved with students.” Marleen Barth, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the AUAS, also quotes this in her speech: "You thought and believe that students and teachers should be heard. Your pizza sessions are renowned".

According to Barth, De Jong has pushed through several boundaries for an identity for the universities of applied sciences of its own. "For you, it goes without saying that higher professional education and the university are equal. A lasting reminder of De Jong's commitment to this is the metro announcer who, at Weesperplein and Wibautstraat, not only mentions the University of Amsterdam, but also the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Price for special performance

In addition to the fact that his Majesty was pleased to pin a ribbon on the outgoing chairman of the board, the AUAS honours its former figurehead with the Special Performance Award for contributions to the AUAS' strategic course. Dean of the Faculty of Education Ramon Puras presented the award on behalf of the AUAS: "For me, your work ethic, contribution to emancipation and authenticity count.”

Photo: Monique Kooijmans

Seven years AUAS

De Jong was appointed rector of the AUAS and member of the Executive Board of the UvA-AUAS in 2013. In March 2017, in addition to being rector, he also became acting Chairman of the Executive Board of the AUAS and then the official Chairman of the Executive Board for over three years until September 2020. Until a successor is appointed at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the two board members, acting chairman Hanneke Reuling and rector Geleyn Meijer, will take over the tasks of De Jong.

Farewell speech Far from the tribe?

The day before, the farewell symposium took place with the theme Radical connection: reflections on governance, organisation and personal leadership in higher education. In the speech that Huib de Jong wrote for the occasion of the symposium and his farewell speech, Far from the Tribe?, he discusses, among other things, what learning means (freedom), the conflicting visions of the institutions in the educational network (Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, advocates, the knowledge institutions themselves) and the desired autonomy of students and lecturers.

Watch the full farewell party of Huib de Jong (live parts with English subtitles)