Communication head sent packing

The new head of the Communication Office of the RUG has been fired a matter of weeks after being hired.

Bas Rutgers was hired as the new head of the Communication Office at the end of November. Rutgers succeeded Piet Bouma, who left the department for the RUG/Campus Fryslân in April. But Rutgers got on so poorly in the office that he was sent packing by the head of the Office of the University.

According to RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens, it was decided at the end of January to end his contract because ‘there was a mismatch between him and the office.’ But according to employees familiar with the situation, Rutgers, who worked in the office two days a week, did not get along with the staff at all. He was dismissive of the opinions of others in the office and was often condescending.


Even though Rutgers was rarely present in the department, there was little to no consultation with his colleagues and they found his ideas difficult to support. That resulted in an unworkable situation.

Rutgers had no comment on the matter, and RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens was unwilling to discuss the situation further.

Rutgers previously worked as the director of marketing at companies such as Nuon, Vopak, Vedior, Nationale-Nederlanden and the Dutch national rail company, NS.


The RUG deliberately sought out a candidate for the job who came from the business world with international experience. The Communication Office staff was not closely consulted about the hiring decision, according to sources familiar with the case.

The staff has reportedly been assured that a replacement will be found with an affinity for higher education. How to fill the position in the meantime is currently under consideration, Deekens says. ‘We will discuss that with the directors.’