José Sanders
José Sanders

José Sanders appointed new Rector of Radboud University Nijmegen

José Sanders will become the 60th Rector Magnificus of Radboud University, succeeding Han van Krieken. She is currently Professor of Communication in Organisations and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the same university. The handover will take place on Tuesday 17 October during the university’s centenary celebrations, at the same place where the celebrations for the university’s foundation took place exactly 100 years ago.

The Rector Magnificus, together with the president and the vice-president, constitutes the Radboud University Executive Board. Mario van Vliet, chair of the Supervisory Board of Radboud University: “José Sanders is an inspiring and committed administrator with a clear vision. She is a unifying force and never loses sight of the personal dimension. The Supervisory Board is confident that she will be a tremendous figurehead for the entire academic community, and for students and staff alike.”

José Sanders: “Our century-old university faces a number of important questions. How can we remain a broad, traditional university, and what commitment to education and research is required in the challenging and changing environment in which we find ourselves? How do we want to build on the rich history of Radboud University? I am especially honoured to be able to contribute to this as Rector Magnificus.”

Daniel Wigboldus, President of the Executive Board: “The Executive Board is looking forward to embarking on the next hundred years of our university alongside José Sanders. We will miss her as Dean, but we are gaining an excellent Rector in return.”

Education and research

As a professor, José Sanders specialises in narrative communication: the cognitive effect of stories and the functional use of stories as a communication strategy. How do people’s personal experiences affect organisations, and how can organisations use stories about those experiences? This kind of strategic storytelling is also playing an increasingly important role in health communication, marketing communication and journalism.


José Sanders studied Dutch Language and Literature in Nijmegen and first joined Radboud University in 2009 as an associate professor in Dutch Language and Culture; in 2013, she was appointed associate professor in Communication and Information Studies. Among other things, she coordinated the minor and masters programmes in Journalism and was chair of the Department of Language and Communication. In 2017, she was appointed Professor of Narrative Communication. She obtained her PhD at Tilburg University in 1994, where she stayed on as an NWO post-doc. She then went on to be a senior advisor at the KASKI centre of expertise on religion and society, an associate professor at VU University Amsterdam and a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to her work for Radboud University, she is a member of the board of the Tilburg University Support Fund Foundation.

Contact information

Organizational unit
Executive Board, Faculty of Arts