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LUC The Hague: A Summer Message from the Dean

22 July 2020

The very special edition of our summer graduation on July 10th – even though of course not at all the same as a live event – has given me a lot to smile and think about. Smile because of the funny and heartwarming student videos for the conferral of the degrees (with some clever editing I might add), because of the look on Bahumi’s face when she realized she was not an ‘extra’ for the video, but the recipient of the award, and because of the Piano man compilation video that I can just watch over and over again until my jaws hurt. Think because of the valuable tips given by Mitchell Esajas that are relevant for all ages (failing forward is priceless!), because of the inspiring speeches by Omari and Felina that cleverly captured the thoughts and feelings of the LUC community, and because of the insightful contributions of the major conveners about global challenges.  

For many members of the academic community, the weeks after summer graduation comes at a time of slowing down, taking a rest, and enjoying some leisure time. As I am writing this, I am trying to finish everything still on my to-do list before going on holiday. The College Board and Program Board and their related councils and support staff have been and still are very busy preparing for the course planning after summer, especially in light of the continuing national measures and guidelines that fundamentally affect our teaching. See also the most important updates about course planning in the item by our Educational Director Lieke Schreel later on in this newsletter.

Another issue high on my agenda is the action plan in response to recent discussions about racism at LUC, part of which took place in the online town hall meetings (see also updated minutes for the first town hall here). Following those and other meetings, the College Board has made a draft action plan, that can be found here. Note that the document is still a draft that needs to go through several formal channels before it can have the status of a decision document, and that at this stage it is still confidential and to be shared only within the LUC community of students, staff, and alumni. The College Board is confident that this draft action plan will be the basis of a committed and sustainable approach to building a more respectful and inclusive College Community that will  be to the benefit of all of its members for years to come.

When this newsletter message arrives in your inbox, I will already be in Zeeland for a holiday with my three daughters, and my sister and her daughter. As you are reading this, we are probably either lounging in the garden or on the beach, reading a book or napping, walking in the dunes, or enjoying some Zeeland high cuisine (mussels or bolussen) or Zeeland folklore (ringrijden or sjezenrijden). Exciting? Not at all, but that is precisely the point. I’ve had enough excitement for now, it’s time for slowing down and relaxing. Or in the words of Simon and Garfunkel: “Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last, just kicking down the cobblestones, looking for fun and feeling groovy.” So fun and groove it is for me and hopefully for all of you.

See you after summer!

Judi

So now we relax. A little at least. Working on the anti-racism action plan, organizing graduation, getting a new cohort admitted, preparing for courses after summer, and tying up all sorts of loose ends will keep many staff busy for a few more weeks. But we do so knowing that we are investing in a new generation of thinkers and doers who are worth our efforts. And when those called to teaching meet those called to learning in a place of mutual respect and understanding, we all come out enriched! 

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