In January 2014 the Young Academy of the University of Twente (JA@UT), with Victor van der Chijs president of the UT Executive Board, took place. During this meeting several topics were discussed to become acquainted with each other.
JA@UT formulated some sharp propositions and the discussions that followed are relevant for the UT strategy discussion. JA@UT strives for UTopia: to shape the perfect university where the development of talent is guaranteed. The JA@UT would like to share her vision on the following topics:
Towards facilitated tenure trackers
§To consider offering every Tenure Tracker a “starting package,” containing at least one PhD-student. The UT could look at other Dutch Universities for examples.
§The system should be arranged in such a way that it is fully transparent and that all the facilities for Tenure Trackers are formalized.
§Tenure Trackers should have enough time to do research and write proposals for prestigious research grants (NWO-Vernieuwingsimpuls and ERC Grants), which means spending a limited amount of time on education, the development of TOM etc.
§The development of high quality education is important and the involvement of skilled researchers in that process is desirable. But the UT has to realize that time spent on these type of activities has consequences for the careers of researchers, and Tenure Trackers should not be held accountable due to “the loss of research time”.
The future of TOM
JA@UT calls for attention
§To the large amount of “research time” invested in the development of TOM.
§That for some types of education, TOM is to rigid. In the future TOM has to be made more suitable to some types of education.
A healthy relationship between ‘Strategisch Beraad’ and researchers should be the standard
JA@UT is open for discussion on the organizational culture
§The “Strategisch Beraad” should listen to researchers and give feedback on how their input has been used.
§Be open on “What is best for the organization” and give clear arguments about the choices that are made and how interests are evaluated
§The ‘Strategisch Beraad’ should be proud of opinionated researchers and stimulate constructive criticism.
Towards a transparent financial allocation model
§To discuss a new, and transparent, financial allocation model, which covers all basic elements such as staff salaries, facility and infrastructure costs (e.g. electricity, maintenance) etc.
§There should be no conflicts of interests between faculties and research institutes.
§Financial incentives are needed for interdisciplinary research.
Effective science communication
JA@UT strives for
§Well informed decisions on what topics to pursue to get into the (inter)national media: efficient effort and attention for the scientific details.
§Optimally there will always be a “duo” working together on a story: both by a contact within M&C and a researcher.