We - Column Agnes Muskens

Summer break

Things are getting quieter on campus in the last week before the summer break, as the city prepares for the Four Days' Marches. Many colleagues will be or are already enjoying their well-deserved holidays, while others can now quietly and peacefully focus on writing their articles or PhD dissertations.

In the last week before my summer holidays I’ve taken the time for a bit of reflection. The past period has been "nice and busy", with a variety of topics. We have made good progress with a number of major dossiers, two of which I would like to describe in more detail.

The good news is that the administrative agreement has now been finalised in which the Universities of the Netherlands have made a series of agreements with Minister Dijkgraaf, including an attractive proposal for the distribution of additional funds to all universities. At Radboud University, we will receive substantially more funds for the implementation of the sector plans and start-up and incentive grants, thus creating more opportunities and space for quality education and research. I am pleased to see that several faculties have already started actively recruiting staff. The extra funds will help us meet the growth of our university in the coming years and at the same time shift the focus to reducing the workload.

Another prominent item on the list was the Code of Conduct and the underlying regulations on "personal relationships in the workplace" and "alcohol and/or drug use", which will be online soon. I am glad this is now ready. Over the past period we have discussed this intensively and constructively with the Works Council members, progressively boosting the code’s robustness. It took a bit more time than expected, but the result speaks volumes. Congratulations to the policy team as well, which put a lot of time into this. It is a demonstration of close cooperation, in which we managed to draw up a broadly supported Code of Conduct through constructive, open dialogue.

Above all, let us encourage each other to apply the ideas in the Code of Conduct on a daily basis. For example, we should continually be asking ourselves: how are we treating each other, are we really listening and how is everyone doing? Every Radboud University employee can demonstrate personal leadership in which courage, connection, and openness as well as recognition and appreciation are core concepts.

Over the past six months, these core concepts appear to have taken on a more prominent role. I am delighted to see us tackling these challenges together. I am also experiencing to an increasing degree just how wide our university’s sphere of influence is. In my opinion, Radboud University's breadth in education and research is unique. In combination with strong support, this ensures that Radboud University remains solid as a rock.

Radboud University in its current form is a result of our combined efforts! I will carry this positive sentiment with me on my summer holiday, wishing you all a wonderful Four Days' Marches and of course a beautiful summer!

Agnes Muskens is vice president of Radboud University's Executive Board. The other two members are president Daniël Wigboldus and rector magnificus Han van Krieken. The board members alternate columns about what concerns them as administrators.

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