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Opening Academic Year centred around strategic plan: 'Our compass to make decisions'

On Tuesday 5 September, the Faculty of Science kicked off the new academic year. A special edition this time: Dean Jasper Knoester gave the official kick-off signal and presented the new strategic plan 'Connecting through Curiosity'.

'The first full post-corona year is behind us,' Knoester opened his speech. 'We were finally able to take advantage of opportunities to meet again'. And exactly that was crucial for the process of formulating our strategy. A lot of people contributed, with different backgrounds, expertise and interests. Knoester: ‘The new strategy has a strong focus on the community we want to be, the way we want to work and study together, the way we want this big organisation to work and to develop.’

Adapting to changing world

Before going into the content, Knoester explained why - after more than a decade of absence - the plan had to be there now. ‘The world around us is changing continuously and even if we like our traditions, we need to adjust to those changes. It helps to have a guide, a compass to help us make decisions on how we adjust. What do we want the faculty to be in this changing world, what role do we want to play in it? What type of organisation do we want to be for our staff and students, and how do we fit within the university? This is what we describe in our strategic plan.’

This is how we want to work in the faculty

Creating the strategic plan was a wonderful journey, according to Knoester, involving many people to whom he is immensely grateful. ‘Those who participated, I cannot thank enough. We could not have done it without you.' The design process of the strategic plan is an example of how we want to work in this faculty, the Dean said. 'We want to connect people from different institutes and departments, from different degree programs, different career stages, and different type of roles in the faculty. Let them be curious about each other’s interests and expertise, exchange ideas and listen to each other. Let them thrive on what binds us: a passion for science. And thereby shaping our ideas about the future of the faculty.’

How is this going to work?

'For each area, plans and lines of action for the coming years have been described,' Knoester explains. 'And we are not going to act on all of them at the same time. This is a plan for five years, we can’t do it all at once. We will make an implementation agenda, in which we assign clear priorities to each action line. The most important thing is that we do it together. I am really looking forward to this.’

Time to connect

After that the co-CEO's of RISE handed over there biennial report to dean Jasper Knoester. A beautifully designed booklet outlines what has happened in the past two years in terms of gender equality within FWN.

And then the band started playing, drinks were consumed and some people even dansed for a bit.

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