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From the Board: Results of Round-Table Discussions Archaeology

15 April 2019

We are pleased to be able to give you an update on progress concerning the Faculty’s response to  the Personnel and PhD Monitor. As you know, 2018’s feedback was not entirely positive, and the results were widely discussed within the Faculty, in consultation with Heads of Department and in round-table discussions.

Results of Round-Table Discussions

On Thursday 4th April, spokespersons from the Faculty Council (both student and staff), HR, Communications, Heads of Department and the Board; together with an external overseer, Maaike Mentink, discussed the results of  2018’s round-table discussions.

Many participants in the round-table discussions said that they were proud of what they do, and are satisfied with their work. Furthermore, they definitely feel involved in the Faculty.

However, concerns were also expressed. For example, about the organizational structure of the Faculty: responsibilities within the organization that are now implicit must be made more explicit; and the lack of a feeling of collective engagement should be addressed.

A number of points for attention and improvement were mentioned, and the following suggestions have been made:

  • Design frameworks for task classification (teaching, research, other) and define the tasks.
  • Make tasks clear so that there is more transparency, especially in teaching. The suggestion is to make an overview of the courses per staff member.
  • Clarify communication regarding educational processes; so that there is less ambiguity about procedures, deadlines and responsibilities
  • Give attention to leadership and leadership styles: consider competencies in this area already when appointing people.
  • Provide training in the giving and receiving of feedback.

See the report of the round-table discussions.

Quick wins

In some cases, actions may be implemented quickly, these are the so-called "quick wins". For example, in the context of an open and transparent community, there has been talk of an open-door policy, clearing posters which obscure windows next to the doors, and having “walk-in” contact hours.

Policy proposals are being drawn up which will provide clarity about the duties of scientific staff, together with a proposal about the attendance of all staff at the Faculty.

The principle of leading by example is important. This applies to everyone, but to managers in particular. After all, as Albert Schweitzer said: “the three most important ways to lead people are: by example, by example and by example.”

Thinking along and organizing

One important outcome of the round-table discussions, and the consultation last week, is that much needs to be done, and it will take time. The Faculty Board cannot do this alone. The Board intends to give consistent attention to change and improvement, and will facilitate it in any way possible. We very much need the commitment of colleagues to this process, and invitations will follow to the entire community. Your contribution may be in thinking with us about solutions, or in assisting with organizing the required changes. We have already launched an online suggestion box where you can leave your suggestions, ideas, and observations.

Thank you in advance for your support.

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