Universiteit Leiden

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Jasper's Day

Jasper Knoester is the dean of the Faculty of Science. How is he doing, what exactly does he do and what does his day look like? In each newsletter, Jasper gives an insight into his life.

Monday 9 January

Although I already worked at the faculty last Friday, today feels like the real start of the year. The house was back in its usual mode this morning, with the children always just a little too rushed to prepare for the school day and leaving home in a hurry. Around 8.00 hrs, I head to the station on my bike, where the NS does not disappoint me and I leave for Leiden on time. The office is busier than last week, and New Year's wishes are exchanged. Good to see everyone again!

The day is well-filled. In the morning, I have a number of meetings that cover a range of topics, from sector plans to new appointments and other personnel matters. At noon, I jump on my bike to Rapenburg, where the Executive Board is holding a New Year's lunch with the faculty boards and scientific directors. Executive Board President Annetje Ottow gives a short, inspiring speech and otherwise it's mainly greeting and catching up with a bite to eat. Incidentally, as is the case everywhere in the Netherlands, many of the colleagues present were sick for part of the holiday. No corona, but all with similar complaints.

'The routine is back to normal within a day.'

After returning to our faculty, I discuss the script for tomorrow's New Year's reception with Marjolein van Schoonhoven, head of the Faculty Department of Communication and Marketing. We also go through the New Year's speech that I wrote over the weekend. I have written a lot of them, always a fun task, but this is the first one in Leiden, so it’s special. I am looking forward to the reception and hope that many people will make use of the opportunity to start the new year together! For a moment, I think back to last year, when we were not allowed to organize a reception due to corona, and when I still frequently commuted from Groningen to Leiden and the Ibis hotel was my regular place to sleep. This year is much better.

I continue the afternoon with a meeting with Pieter Schipper, our head of academic affairs, about a list of nice topics. The year has barely begun and there is already much that requires action and decision-making. This is followed by the agenda meeting with the vice-chair of the Faculty Council (FR), Martina Huber. This is a periodic meeting, in which we discuss the agenda for the next meeting between the FR and the faculty board. The discussion is always open and we are pleased with the constructive relationship we have with the FR. Ultimately, the whole faculty benefits from it. On the sideline of this meeting, we hear that the FR has held a good internal meeting about the new faculty governance model that the board has advised on. The FR has given its recommendation and will present it to the board next week.

I am home fairly early today and we have dinner while discussing the children’s first day of school in 2023. Then I put the finishing touches on the New Year speech and read meeting papers, cosily flanked by Jasmijn reading a book for her reading list. The routine is back to normal within a day.'

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