Universiteit Leiden

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Ineke Sluiter and Arnold Tukker first distinguished professors at Leiden University

The Executive Board has appointed Ineke Sluiter and Arnold Tukker as distinguished professors at Leiden University. They will be the first to give shape to Leiden University’s strategic professorship, a unique role that allows professors to take the lead on key strategic themes within the university.

Distinguished professor (universiteitshoogleraar) is a special position at Dutch universities that is held by leading professors. Leiden University has its own interpretation of this position: Leiden’s distinguished professors will focus on one or more themes and will help define their remit. They thus help implement the university’s strategic plan.


Leiden’s distinguished professors have a temporary, part-time (between 0.2 and 0.4 FTE) appointment at one or more faculties and form a team that consults directly with the Executive Board. They are tasked with fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and championing one of the university’s strategic themes. This can be a theme such as health or the university’s colonial history or it can relate to topics such as leadership, open science or academic integrity. As pioneers, they ensure that the university can develop in these areas.

Ineke Sluiter

Ineke Sluiter

Professor of Greek Language and Literature Ineke Sluiter’s distinguished professorship will be devoted to assuming a leading, innovative and connecting role within antiquities research, research that is fundamental yet inspired by socially relevant topics such as innovation and globalisation. Sluiter will conduct this research in teams by taking an ‘Antiquity lab’ approach: an interdisciplinary working community that will use expertise from not only Leiden but also elsewhere in the Netherlands. She believes that research and teaching are interconnected and that a broad societal understanding of science is essential. Sluiter also aims to contribute to the themes of diversity and inclusion, recognition and rewards, academic integrity, and dignity and respect. 

Arnold Tukker

Arnold Tukker

As Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Development, Professor of Industrial Ecology Arnold Tukker will focus on the strategic theme of sustainability, with three main strands: research, teaching, and the development and implementation of inter- and transdisciplinary research methods. Tukker will build networks between junior and senior researchers, and focus on the added value of inter- and transdisciplinary work. He will also work to identify gaps in sustainability education in Leiden and will develop innovative forms of education such as thesis labs. He will do so in close cooperation with the Liveable Planet interdisciplinary programme and relevant LDE Universities centres.

Pleased with these appointments

Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl emphasises the importance of the new distinguished professors: ‘I am pleased that we now have distinguished professors who have earned their spurs and can lead part-time for a few years on an important strategic theme. The professors will work across borders and will liaise with each other.’

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