Nicole Ummelen new President of the Open University

Nicole Ummelen, TU/e vice president since 2019, has been appointed President of the Executive Board of the Open University (OU) to take effect as of September 1, 2023. There she will succeed Frank van der Duijn Schouten, who has been interim President since November 1, 2021.

photo Vincent van den Hoogen

The Executive Board of the Open University consists of two members: the President and Rector Magnificus Theo Bastiaens. The Open University is headquartered in Heerlen.

The OU Supervisory Board is delighted with the arrival of Nicole Ummelen. President René Smit cites her broad experience at many universities in the Netherlands and her managerial quality, stressing that “she is uniquely placed to help realize the Open University’s ambitions: new target groups, a socially relevant offer of academic distance education, a solid bond with the region, to name but a few. The Supervisory Board is confident that Nicole Ummelen can continue the current institutional strategy with success.”


Nicole Ummelen: “I am pleased and honored with my appointment as President of the Open University Executive Board. It is a position that suits me very well for several reasons. The OU is a wonderful university with a very special social role. At the same time, I also realize what I will be leaving behind. I have thoroughly enjoyed working at TU/e for the past eleven years, and I am incredibly grateful for everything I have experienced and learned during that time. I wish everyone at TU/e all the best. I will continue to work here with full commitment until September 1. Among other things, I will use that time to help the new rector Silvia Lenaerts, who starts on May 11, get off to a good start.”


Peter Wennink, President of the TU/e Supervisory Board: “We are extremely grateful to Nicole for her enormous commitment to TU/e over the past eleven years. In her we see a highly conscientious, connecting and decisive administrator who is leaving and whom we will greatly miss. We are convinced that, with all her qualities, she will make the difference at the Open University as well and wish her every success in this.”


“I am extremely happy for my fellow board member that she will be making this great move and I am proud that someone from TU/e will be filling this position,” said Robert-Jan Smits, TU/e Executive Board President. “Nicole has had an enormous impact in the eleven years she has worked here as Vice President and before that as university secretary, a period when the university doubled in size. I wish her every success and look forward to working with her soon in the UNL council of presidents.”

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