‘WUR, focus more on the city’

WUR should invest more in the city of Wageningen, says outgoing mayor Geert van Rumund.
Photo: Guy Ackermans

The policymakers of WUR lack knowledge of the city’s local issues, says Van Rumund in his farewell interview with Resource. ‘WUR should have more people with roots in the city and focus more on what goes on in Wageningen. If the university focuses solely on its own agenda, this leads to resistance.’

One of the topics WUR shows too little interest in, according to Van Rumund, is Wageningen as a city of freedom. ‘More so than in other municipalities, you must be aware of the fact that freedom, safety and peace are not a given. I call on WUR to address these values more. For example, by joining the 45 Foundation and by emitting the signal that WUR values the title City of Liberation.’

Since I was sworn in, student numbers have increased (just kidding)

Geert van Rumund, outgoing mayor of Wageningen

Van Rumund took his leave as mayor of Wageningen after more than 15 years in office. During this period, the university moved from the city to the campus. A move that Van Rumund says saved WUR. In my first year, the number of students was at an all-time low. During the AID on Duivendaal, I was able to shake hands with each individual new student.’


‘Now, I address two thousand new students from a stage during the AID’, he continues. ‘Since I was sworn in, student numbers have increased’, he adds jokingly. Despite the success of the campus, Van Rumund regrets the university has relinquished the Aula in the city. ‘Celebrating a PhD graduation or inauguration in such an iconic building in the city centre had a special feel to it.’

Geert van Rumund took his leave from the municipality last Monday. He was appointed honorary citizen of Wageningen. One week earlier, the public hall in the city hall was renamed the Geert van Rumund square. Read the interview with Van Rumund in the latest edition of Resource, published today.

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