It is noteworthy that PhD network P-NUT is reporting for university politics. 'We want to use the existing mechanisms within the UT to better represent all 1200 doctoral candidates - PhDs and PDEngs,' explains PhD student and P-NUT President Anton Atanasov. He is the only candidate on behalf of 'List P-NUT'. 'We need to be actively involved in university politics, to address issues and improve our work environment and conditions.'
If elected, Atanasov wants to focus, among other things, on improving mental wellbeing, setting up an alumni network for all doctoral candidates, improved training of supervisors and better integration of international, external, self-financed and scholarship candidates within the UT. 'We hope that our inclusion in the University Council will enable us to better communicate the actual problems and needs of all doctoral candidates.'
Also new is Jacqueline Weppelman, business controller at the BMS faculty, with her own 'List Weppelman'. Although she is by no means a stranger to the University Council; some twenty years ago, she sat on the council on behalf of the then Democraten Drienerlo party. She believes that her experience and financial background can be of added value to the council. 'I think it is important to have different layers, backgrounds and fields of expertise in the council', she says. 'There has to be a good balance. I hope I can contribute to providing balanced advice and decision-making.'
Weppelman mentions, among other things, the UT financing model, a major upcoming case for the council. 'For several of the council's cases, there is a price tag involved. That applies to this model in particular,' says Weppelman. 'With my 30 years of experience in university finances, I hope to find a good balance; the financial resources are not abundant, so we have to distribute them fairly and reasonably.'
Joyce Karreman, assistant professor in the Communication Science programme, leads the list on behalf of Campus Coalition. She was considering running for council in the spring, but decided not to. 'Because of the uncertain times. At that time I couldn't see what would be required of teachers in the new academic year,' says Karreman. 'When, in this current academic year, the opportunity arose again to put myself forward as a candidate, I did not hesitate. By now I'm used to working in 'corona times' and I'm even more keen to contribute to developments within the university as a member of the University Council, especially in these complex and turbulent times.'
Karreman has the necessary experience within education-related committees and as chairman on faculty councils. 'I value that decisions are taken in a well-considered way and that the decision-making process runs smoothly. And, of course, I think it's important that the UT community is well informed. If I have to choose a theme that I want to work on in the first place, then I'd choose education. But I have a broad interest in the general ins and outs of the UT. I think it is important that the council represents all employees. A good contact with the decentralized participation is necessary. I also think it is important that the members of the University Council are easily accessible to everyone.'
Emile Dopheide, education manager at the ITC faculty, is on the list of Campus Coalition together with Karreman. I see the University Council as a great opportunity to think along constructively and critically about UT policies,' he says. 'I see that the council is increasingly being involved at an earlier stage. That has a lot of added value for the university as a whole.'
Dopheide has broad experience within education and educational management, also through involvement in multiple platforms. Becoming a member of the Faculty Council would come too close, which is why I want to focus on the UT policy in general. In particular also to represent the ITC faculty well.'
Though Dopheide does not want to act exclusively as an advocate for the faculty. 'But what ITC does encounter in practice, for example, is that diversity is a relatively small part of policy. The UT often opts for a one-size-fits-all solution, which does not or not fully meet specific needs. Too often there is a lack of customisation. I want to make sure that it's not the systems that run the show. There is a great deal of diversity within this university; let's make good use of that.'
The digital ballot boxes will be open from Monday 14 December until Friday 18 December at noon. Employees will receive an invitation to vote by e-mail.