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Ruud Alphons (Ruud) de Moor (1928-2001) was Rector Magnificus in 1968 and from 1983 to 1991. From 1985 till 1988, he also chaired the Executive Board. In 1952, De Moor graduated cum laude as a sociologist at the then Catholic College of Tilburg. In 1956, he became the first director of the Institute for Labor Issues (IVA), allied to the College. The IVA performed policy-oriented contract research and may be considered as one of the first university institutes to engage with valorization, or the economic or social utilization of knowledge. In 1961, De Moor obtained his cum laude PhD with a thesis entitled De verklaring van het conflict (The Conflict Explained). A year later he was appointed Professor of General Sociology.

European Values

As a scholar, he rose to prominence as one of the driving forces behind the European Values Survey (EVS), a large-scale sociological study of the development of values and standards in Europe, which was first conducted in ten countries in 1981. Its last edition, in 2008, involved 45 countries or regions.

There can be no doubt that De Moor ranks amongst the most important executive officers the University has had. When student numbers began to climb in the sixties, he convinced the government that more funding was needed to be able to guarantee quality of education. And when budget cuts by the then Minister Deetman in 1986 appeared to herald the impending closure of the Arts Faculty and the Sub-Faculty of Psychology, De Moor led the university board in putting up a fight. Successfully so.

Open university

De Moor felt that the University should be within reach of the children of “ordinary” Brabant people. A similar idea was instrumental in his efforts to found the Open University, which was open to anyone, irrespective of age, background or previous educational attainments. The OU was established in 1984, with De Moor serving as its first Executive Board President. He also served as chair and member of a great number of advisory committees in the field of (higher) education and research. He was also a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW). For his achievements, De Moor received many distinctions. He was made Commander in the Order of Orange Nassau and Commander in the Order of St. Gregory the Great, the latter in recognition of his ongoing commitment to the Roman Catholic Church. In 1994, the OU awarded him with an honorary doctorate.

De Moor upon his retirement on 20 June 1991