Universiteitsraad

Employee group TiU International

The University Council matters,' stresses Bert Willems, head of the TiU International employee group. We think along with the board and put subjects on the agenda. Bert is an associate professor at the Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TiSEM) and will join the University Council for a second term.

The University Council matters

TiU International now has three seats. In total there are nine employees and nine students on the council. The Executive Board consults with the council on a regular basis. Prior to joining the University Council, Bert was a member of the Faculty Council. In the meantime, I have built up considerable experience and am still full of energy for a new term of office.

We remain committed to an inclusive university

TiU International is committed to the interests of all Tilburg University employees. That means for the support staff as well as for lecturers and researchers. We have already achieved a lot, but continue to work hard for an inclusive university and for a solid employer where employees and students can fully develop themselves. In second place on the electoral list is Lies Siemons of Academic Support. Bert says: 'Also with our list we try to be inclusive and a reflection of the university’.

This has to improve

One of the spearheads of this group is making employee participation more widely known. There are service councils and faculty councils where they cannot find enough people to fill all the seats. Employee participation that popular in some parts of the university, this needs to be improved. He says the university is about people and that they need a good working environment with coaching and career prospects. The university must create the conditions in which we can attract good people and retain them. This should be more prominent in the HR-policy. For example, we argue for more clarity on tenure tracks. Only two schools have a clear policy for this. Many young employees do not know exactly on which points they are being assessed. HR can be given a more prominent role in this. Within the supporting staff, we sometimes see a high rate of staff turnover. We wonder whether there are sufficient opportunities for development there.

Limits to growth

A subject on which the council will focus a great deal of attention in the coming period is the University’s Strategy for 2022-2026. The national government has determined that less money will go to alpha and gamma sciences, and nationwide there is a trend towards less competition on market share and far-reaching cooperation between universities. It could be a real possibility, for example, that the number of curricula will have to be reduced because universities will have to “profile” themselves more.

Growth also remains a point of attention. We believe that quality should be the starting point, because there are limits to growth. There is a shortage of student rooms and finding new employees is becoming increasingly difficult. Growth is fine, as long as employees can keep up with it'.

A third topic that is important to TiU International is good governance. The process between the central administration and the faculties can be streamlined better. It's good that the faculties have a lot of autonomy, but it also makes it difficult to make quick decisions about, for example, online examinations or to achieve university-wide quality agreements. Collaboration between faculties can also be improved in a number of areas, such as executive education or IT support. Processes within faculties differ because they have different requirements, which makes it difficult for IT support to come up with an overall solution.  

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