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Meet the new Board Secretaries at Archaeology: ‘This is the game I want to play a role in’

With the departure of Janneke Mulders as Board Secretary of the Faculty of Archaeology, Hilde Adriaenssens has been enlisted as an interim until the new Secretary, Mischa Hautvast, starts in January. We sat down with both to get a clear picture of their activities and backgrounds.

Hilde Adriaenssens

Interim Board Secretary

Hilde Adriaenssens has been active as an interim Board Secretary at the Faculty of Science for five months before she began at Archaeology, so she knows a bit about the dynamics of Leiden University. ‘My background lies in the MBO (Intermediate Vocational Education) however, where I have been a Board Secretary for 10 years, ‘she explains. ‘At some point in early 2020 I decided to go for freelance interim jobs, coinciding with the breakout of Covid-19.’

In the past years she has had assignments in institutions of primary education as well as secondary education. ‘My role as a Secretary is always coloured with the perspective of organisational development. One of the responsibilities of the Secretary is organisational decision making, especially from the perspective of development. How can the organisation be improved upon? How do you get the right agendas on the right table? This is the game I want to play a role in.’

Faculty differences

Hilde found the size difference between Science and Archaeology striking. ‘I notice that there are less coordinating positions at Archaeology. These are just not necessary since the Faculty is rather small. While this is positive on the one hand, the drawback is that people do not formalise processes on the other hand. Even if you are small, things need to be documented so as to be transparent and formal. Something else that stands out positively is that there are a lot of strategic discussions within the Faculty Board.’

Hilde’s main tasks consist of organising the decision making processes of the Faculty Board. ‘If people want to get something decided or talked about in the Board meetings, they should contact me. I will then decide whether memos meet the requirements to be spoken about by the Board, or give help.'

Mischa Hautvast

Permanent Board Secretary

Between the interim and the permanent Board Secretaries there is an overlap of a month. Mischa Hautvast will take up her position mid-January 2022. So what is her story? ‘I worked at Art History in Leiden, after which I left for Scotland to work as a project manager for the University of Edinburgh,’ Mischa explains. ‘In the past years I worked as a project coordinator for the interdisciplinary programmes ‘SAILS’, CCLS and DSO at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS).’

Mischa welcomes the period of overlap with Hilde. ‘I can benefit from her experience as a Board Secretary. She has a good eye for problem areas and opportunities for improvement.’

Hilde nods. ‘I am already initiating change and improving things. I want to do this as much as possible in consultation with my successor.’

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