‘Faculties, let’s join efforts!’
“Which concerns there are in the faculty?” Annetje Ottow, Dean for the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, does not tend to think in terms of concerns. “I think in opportunities. One of the opportunities I see in the concept Strategic Plan, is to join forces even more.” And what does the Dean think about the rest of the concept plan?
“The previous Strategic Plan was close to a check list; written from a controlling perspective. The new text completely let go of that, which I’m very pleased about. The process to formulate this plan took place in all openness, with discussions in every layer of the university. The different meetings were very inspirational to me. I think the university also got a lot of energy out of it. While reading, you can see the plan was realised bottom-up. There is a lot of room for interpretation and trust.”
Doesn’t this room for individual interpretation mean there’s a risk that all faculties will interpret and bend the text in different ways?
“That would be such a shame. Don’t get me wrong: independence is very good – you shouldn’t impose things from the top down and of course every faculty is different. But I really hope for an interfaculty approach, in which we explore together how we can achieve our ambitions. By the way, I am confident that we will join efforts, because there is an excellent atmosphere between the Deans and we listen to each other closely.
Did you find any of your own suggestions in the concept text?
“Yes. Among other things, I plead for becoming more of a global university. So far, we have been very Dutch and very focused on looking inward. But the world around us is changing at breakneck speed. If you want to stay in the game, you will have to become more diverse and international. For instance, we know the number of Dutch students is falling. This requires us to draw more from the international students pool. But in the end, it all begins with being open to diversity, as a community.”
How to proceed?
In April, the (greater part of the) Strategic Plan was examined by, among other groups, the University Council, Deans, University Professors, Education Directors, Research Directors and other involved staff members and students. The expectation is that the plan will be completed halfway through July, after processing the submitted feedback, an editing drive and approval by the Supervisory Board.