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Dean, Faculty of Spatial Sciences

Job Description

The Dean is responsible for leading the Faculty Board. The Faculty Board consists of the Dean, Vice-Dean and Managing Director, and is traditionally characterized by collegial governance. The Dean is the linking pin between the FSS Board and the University Board. She or he is responsible for strategy and execution of education, research, HR, external partnerships and the overall management of FSS. Within the Faculty, the Dean maintains effective relationships with department chairs, the Research Director, and the Director of Education. Within the Faculty Board, the Dean is in charge of the portfolio Education.


The successful candidate is an inspiring and collaborative leader with a strong standing and network in one of the fields of Geography, Planning or Demography, or related subject areas. She or he has a general awareness of interdisciplinary issues and societal impact opportunities. FSS is looking for a forward-thinking scientist with experience in working in the Dutch higher education environment. Proficiency in English and Dutch is critical. Women are especially encouraged to apply.

The ideal candidate has a strong interest in developing attractive international educational programmes that have clear labour market linkages. The candidate has shown effective leadership skills in an academic setting, and will lead the Faculty Board, department heads and directors of research and education to further develop excellent research and education. The Dean has shown excellent communication skills to maintain contacts with staff, participative bodies, both within and beyond the faculty and the university. The new Dean has a position as full professor.


The University of Groningen (UG), founded in 1614, is a research university with a global outlook. Quality of research and education is a top priority. The university is in the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

The Faculty of Spatial Sciences (FSS) is a medium-sized faculty of the University of Groningen, with approximately 1,000 students, around 100 staff members and 100 PhD researchers.

FSS research covers the fields of Demography, Economic Geography, Cultural Geography and Planning. FSS offers research driven education within 2 bachelor programmes, 8 master programmes, and 1 research master programme. Many of these programmes are in the top 3 of their respective fields in The Netherlands. For more information, please visit the FSS website

Conditions of employment

The Dean will be appointed for 3 to 5 days a week, in principle for a period of four years, possibly followed by reappointment for another four years. The Dean will be appointed to the position of permanent Professor by the Board of the University, with the associated salary scale, and will in addition receive an administration allowance for fulfilling the role of Dean (max. 15% of scale 18).

The position is available from 1 December 2020.

More information
University of Groningen

For information you can contact: Prof. Jouke de Vries, President of the Board, [at]; Prof. Tialda Haartsen, Vice Dean FSS, t.haartsen [at] Please do not use these e-mail address(es) for applications.