Farewell to Evert Kamphuis
Evert Kamphuis, Admissions Officer of the Dean's Office, showed up for his last day of work on February 11th. A familiar face to all MSc students, Kamphuis was often their first contact with the University, and their main link to funding agencies during their stay here. Kamphuis' tasks will be divided between different people at the Dean's Office and the Head Office, until the Business Plan takes effect in December
In a word, Evert Kamphuis could describe his 25 years working with the WAU's international student community as unique. Every person, every culture, every situation is unique. I never know what to expect next. Even in his last month here, he received an unusual application. It came from a farmer in Africa. It was in perfect order, all the papers attached. But when I saw his date of birth, I had to laugh. He was over 70 years old. Just imagine, a MSc application coming in the last month before my retirement from someone older than me.
Funny situations are not uncommon for the Dean's Office. Kamphuis tells about an early exchange with a Sri Lankan student. I kept asking if he understood what I was saying. He said yes, but kept shaking his head from side to side, as if to say no. It soon became clear that head motions for yes and no in Sri Lanka are exactly opposite to those used in Europe: I never make that mistake anymore, he laughs. More difficult situations also come up, however, as he recalls the tragedy of the drowning of an international PhD student last year
Leaving the WAU at a time of upheaval brought on by the Business Plan, Kamphuis is clearly concerned about the future of the Dean's Office. In the long term, he believes an integrated office will provide better services for all international students and staff. But in the short term, he feels that the office has to live with too much insecurity and what he considers to be scattered coordination from the university Board. We have built up a very good team over the years, but I see the team falling apart. We need someone with vision to steer the boat, he adds
Kamphuis is looking forward to his retirement - more time for his family, garden and travel. But he will miss the Dean's Office: It's a nice feeling when international students, even those holding important posts in their own countries, know my name even before I know theirs. I guess that's vanity, he jokes. Amunda Salm
Say farewell to Evert Kamphuis at a reception on February 23rd (16:00) at the Dean's Office