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Cast your vote in this week’s University elections

10 May 2022

From Monday 9 May until Friday 13 May you can vote for your representatives for both the University Council (UR) and the Faculty Council (FR). They get to have a say on important affairs within Leiden University, such as education quality, new buildings, facilities, and sustainability. For FGGA’s Faculty Council only the student representatives are up for election.

We would like to take the time to introduce you to one of the University Council candidates from the ranks of FGGA: Mark Dechesne, number four on the list of Leiden Academic Community (LAG) and Associate Professor at the Dual PhD Centre.

Mark Dechesne

Why have you decided to run for the University Council?

Mark Dechesne: ‘I was asked if I wanted to put myself up for election on behalf of Leiden Academic Community (LAG). I feel honoured by the request. Participation in the University Council offers me the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the university community, and to weigh in on fundamental issues that have an impact on all Leiden University employees: your workplace, code of conduct and values, support for colleagues who are – for whatever reason – experiencing difficulties, and future prospects for both yourself as well as the University. These are all topics that are being discussed by the University Council, and where codetermination can really make a difference.’  

What would you like to achieve within the council?

Mark Dechesne: ‘In our latest meeting we managed to boil down the interests of LAG into three main focus points: attention for work pressure, too little autonomy, and too little support from colleagues. These three issues are also addressed in, for instance, the so-called Demand-Control-Support model of burn-out*. When there is too much work pressure, too little autonomy, and too little support from colleagues, a lot of employees will experience burn-out. When there is a reasonable amount of work pressure, autonomy, and support, your organization will flourish. So let us take a closer look to see if everything is being done to make sure that Leiden University and all its employees flourish. I have been working within the academic world for approximately 25 years, and have seen from up close in different places how social unsafety can have a profound impact on someone’s life. So if you ask me with I think is important, attention for social safety would have the utmost priority. It would be wonderful if we, as University, can work towards finding methods to properly address social unsafety.’  

*for example: Margot Van der Doef & Stan Maes (1999) The Job Demand-Control (-Support) Model and psychological well-being: A review of 20 years of empirical research, Work & Stress, 13:2, 87-114, DOI: 10.1080/026783799296084

Why should FGGA employees vote for you?

‘I have been working at Leiden University since 1 September 2008, have always worked at our The Hague location, and have always lived in The Hague. I truly believe in the ‘The Hague mission’ to bring innovation into the University and academia. Particularly by building bridges between the University and the world of public administration and the corporate world. So, I have confidence in the potential of everything that has been developed in The Hague and at FGGA in particular. At the same time, I have also noticed that what with the explosive growth, there are things that can make you, as employee, feel insecure. And here I’m referring especially to previously mentioned subjects such as: workspace, code of conduct, support by colleagues, and future prospects. The Hague will remain a very important spearhead for development within Leiden University, and that is why it is important that employees in The Hague, and of FGGA, are being represented and heard; especially in and by means of the University Council.’

About the elections

This year, only FGGA Faculty Council student representatives are up for election. An overview of the students running for office and the online election app can be found here

More information on the elections and an overview of all candidates can be found here: University elections - Leiden University (universiteitleiden.nl).  

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