News - June 17, 2010

Komen fortifies VHL board of directors

Rien Komen will be Director of Education Quality and Operations at Van Hall Larenstein from 1 September. His task is to expand VHL into a successful applied sciences university within Wageningen UR.

Komen is currently Director of Operations of the Social Sciences Group (SSG). He has worked for fifteen years at the Leeuwenborch, first as a trainee research assistant and lecturer, then as a corporate staff member, and later as operations director (see cv below). When he was being considered for a director position at VHL, it was the change from knowledge centre to applied sciences university which appealed to him, as well as having 'education quality' added to his portfolio.
'Education - working with others to train the youth - is a really nice thing,' he says. 'It's exciting to walk into the building in Velp or Leeuwarden.' Komen will streamline operational and education processes, such as timetables, registration of grades and evaluations. He will also be in charge of safeguarding the intrinsic quality of the education programmes.  
In early 2008, Komen held the fort at VHL in the period between the departure of former director Erica Schaper and the arrival of current director Ellen Marks. At his own departure, he commented that the VHL  branches were still worlds apart. The current debate at VHL about merging the branches proves that the situation has not changed in the meantime. Komen sees this too as a 'challenge'. 'We want to find out how VHL can rise above the separate locations and become one good university of applied sciences.   To achieve this, its board of directors has to do its best to stand up for the interests of VHL within Wageningen UR.'
In addition, Komen feels that the joint representative advisory organ has to be a sparring partner for the board of directors, instead of for the executive board. 'This happens too at the knowledge centres.' The current debate is part and parcel of a phase in which the applied sciences university has to go through, he says, just as the knowledge centres did in the past.
He will be travelling back and forth a lot very soon: two days of the week in Leeuwarden and three days in Velp. The fifth day would find Komen mainly at the Wageningen Business School, in which he remains as director.
CV Rien Komen
1992: teacher training certificate, Dronten University of Applied Sciences
1994: graduated cum laude in Agricultural Economics, Wageningen Agriculture University
1999: PhD in Agricultural Economics, WU
1999-2003: university lecturer, Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group, WU
2003-2005: Head of the Department of Education and Research, SSG
2004-2005 Acting Director, Education Institute of Social Sciences
2005-present: Director of Operations, SSG
2008-present: Director, Wageningen Business School
2008 from February to June: Acting Director, Van Hall Larenstein
2010 from 1 September: Director of Education Quality and Operations, Van Hall Larenstein