Herman Van Goethem is the sole candidate for the position of rector

University of Antwerp to hold rector elections in March.

It is now safe to say that Herman Van Goethem will be serving a second term as rector of the University of Antwerp. The deadline for candidates to submit their applications was Friday, 17 January 2020. Only one was received, in which the lawyer and historian re-applied, with no challengers entering the ring.

On 31 August, the first term of Herman Van Goethem as rector of the University of Antwerp will come to an end. This means that rector elections are to be held this spring. Applications were open to all full professors and professors with a full-time appointment at UAntwerp until Friday, 17 January. The only application received was that of current Rector Van Goethem.

That does not mean that there will be no elections: from 9 to 13 March, the first round will be held. The vote will only produce a valid result if the candidate for the position of rector obtains more than 50% of the votes, as voters can also choose to vote blank. If necessary, a second round would be held from 16 to 20 March, in which case blank votes would no longer count.

Everyone will cast their vote

A new development in this election procedure is that all employees and students of the University of Antwerp will cast their votes. In the past, only professors got one direct vote each, while everyone else (Assistant Academic Staff, Contract Research Staff, Administrative & Technical Staff and the students) voted for an electoral college in preliminaries.

The Board of Governors decided to change things: "Everyone now gets to cast a direct vote," says Prof. Herwig Leirs, chairman of the Board of Governors. "However, votes will be weighted differently, with the votes of professors weighing in at two thirds. The votes cast by Assistant Academic Staff plus Contract Research Staff, by the Administrative & Technical Staff and by the students will each account for eleven per cent."

On 1 September, the re-elected rector will commence his second (and final) four-year term.

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