Active as dean since 1 January 2017, Ruard has led the faculty with all its diversity through a period of transition, uniquely addressing the complex meaning of religion in society and within faith communities.
Ruard looks back: "We have worked hard as a faculty to renew our profile. Academically among world leading institutions, embedded in a wide range of faith communities and strongly focused on societal questions. In the process, we also had to make difficult choices, but partly because of this, we have a faculty with many great people, a good reputation, and healthy business operations. I am extremely grateful to the academic and support staff, the students, our partners and seminaries, colleagues at VU and sister institutions for the inspiring time we have had together."
Connecting and inclusive
Commenting on Ruard's departure, VU rector Jeroen Geurts says: "We are deeply impressed by the vision set by Ruard and his team at FRT. The connecting, diversity- and inclusiveness-focused approach, the human touch and the importance of dialogue are guiding the faculty and are a constant breeding ground for the wider university. We are proud of Ruard and will miss him."
The Executive Board thanks Ruard for the significance he has had for Vrije Universiteit and wishes him every success.
The process for Ruard's succession will be announced later.