Royal distinction for Paul Herfs

Former UU Staff Confidential Advisor and elected member of the board of ENOHE Paul Herfs has been appointed Knight of the Order of Oranje-Nassau.

On 17 June, he received the award from Mayor Sharon Dijksma for his efforts and contributions to the national debate in the Netherlands on the importance of an independent staff officer at universities. The many publications of his with explanations and good practices in various journals testify to this.

He has also made an important contribution to the professionalisation of ombudsmen and confidential counsellors in higher education. A few years ago, for example, he initiated and supervised the Ombuds Officer Master Class, in which prominent lecturers such as Alex Brenninkmeijer participated. He has also played a major role in the recognition of foreign medics in the Netherlands.

His relentless plea for an ombuds function in higher education has had an effect: in the collective labor agreement negotiations, unions and university boards have recently agreed that each Dutch university will establish an ombuds function starting in 2021.

Paul Herfs worked at Utrecht University from 1 August 1982 to 14 May 2021. For many years he has contributed to the ENOHE network and was elected member of the board of ENOHE in 2019 and served there until his retirement.