Universiteit Leiden

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'How is the faculty more than the sum of its parts?'

As Head of Academic Affairs, Pieter Schipper is the dean's right-hand man. It was therefore Jasper Knoester who asked Pieter to join the core group: a group of colleagues from all parts of the faculty that shapes the strategy process. 'I really enjoy playing a role in this,' says Schipper. 'It's a great opportunity to set direction within our faculty. After all, how is the faculty more than the sum of its parts?'

The core group is interviewing all kinds of people within the faculty to gather input for the strategic plan. Among other things, they do this during brainstorming sessions in Corpus. 'It is great to see that many people - staff and students - are attending,' says Schipper. It is a unique opportunity to work on the future of our faculty'. Schipper therefore looks back with satisfaction on the first two brainstorming sessions. 'I have seen all layers of the organisation, from first-year student to senior researcher. That created an interesting dynamic, in a positive sense! Everyone interacted on an equal level on various topics. That was nice to see.'

Research collaboration

Schipper himself values research collaboration. 'That is of course part of my job as Head of Academic Affairs, so I am very curious to see how we look at this topic in the context of the strategic plan. The added value of research collaboration is that research is not too isolated, but is in contact with society and other disciplines and domains.'


Schipper also hopes that we manage to preserve the strengths of our faculty and find new strengths in the outside world. 'And I hope to connect even more with the rest of the university. We are not visible enough within the university now and that is unjustified. Being more visible will benefit us.'

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