21 May 2018   |   Network News

Jean Chambaz elected chair of LERU

Prof. Jean Chambaz (Photo: LERU)

The rectors of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) have elected Prof. Jean Chambaz (Sorbonne University) as new Chair. During its half yearly meeting in Edinburgh, the LERU Rectors’ Assembly has also appointed two new board members: Prof. Michael Arthur (University College London) and Prof. Karen Maex (University of Amsterdam). Together they will oversee LERU’s activities and set out its policies and strategies for the coming years. Prof. Kurt Deketelaere will continue as Secretary-General of LERU.

Prof. Jean Chambaz succeeds Prof. Bert van der Zwaan, who recently retired as Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University.

Jean Chambaz became President of Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) in March 2012 and has been a member of the LERU Rectors’ Assembly ever since. After the merger between UPMC and Paris-Sorbonne University (Paris IV) earlier this year, he was elected President of the newly created Sorbonne University.

Medical doctor by training, Chambaz is a Professor of Cellular Biology. He was head of Endocrine Biochemistry at La Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital and created a joint INSERM-UPMC research unit in the field of Metabolism and Intestinal Differentiation, merged with the Cordeliers Research Center in 2007, of which he became Deputy Director. He also created the Institute of Doctoral Education at UPMC. Since November 2014, Chambaz has been President of the Coordination of French Research-Intensive Universities (CURIF).

“My sincere thanks go to Bert van der Zwaan, who has done an outstanding job as Chair. Recently, he has led the League in preparing for the next Framework Programme for Research & Innovation and has been a staunch supporter of the shift towards open science. He also played a crucial role in the collaboration between LERU and seven Central European universities (CE7), and in the LERU membership expansion last year”, Chambaz says, and he continues: “I am really looking forward to lead this excellent network of leading research-intensive universities. We have challenging times ahead with a new European Commission and Parliament in 2019, the relationship between the UK and EU, and the impact of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence”.

Prof. Michael Arthur, President and Provost of University College London, and Prof. Karen Maex, Rector Magnificus of the University of Amsterdam, have also been elected as members of the board. Both are seasoned academics with significant experience in research, innovation and education policies. They succeed Prof. Alice Gast (Imperial College London) and Prof. Jukka Kola (University of Helsinki), both of whom have reached the end of their term in the board. LERU is very grateful for their unconditional support over the past few years.

Earlier this year, Prof. Kurt Deketelaere was reappointed by the board for a third term as Secretary-General of the League (1 July 2019-30 June 2024): “Over the past ten years, LERU has become a prominent, strong and outspoken advocate for research, education and innovation in Europe. It’s a privilege to continue my work for this distinguished organisation, and to be at the forefront of all kinds of challenges and developments for universities in Europe”, Deketelaere comments.

The LERU Rectors are meeting for the 34th Rectors’ Assembly at the University of Edinburgh on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 May 2018, upon invitation of Vice-Chancellor and Principal Peter Mathieson. Keynote speakers are Prof. Christine Ortiz (Station 1 and Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Robert-Jan Smits (EPSC, European Commission, and former Director-General of DG Research and Innovation), and Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s place in Europe.

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