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97, May, 2015

10 June 2015

University Council Newsletter, edition 97

Dear Reader!

Last month was an exciting month for the Participation Councillors of our University. Elections took place at all levels and in each department. For many councils the turnout went up; for the student section in any case by 0.9% to 31.7%. Unfortunately, the personnel section showed a drop from 36.4% to 30.9%.  Fortunately, the personnel section is completely taken up by 12 representatives.  The personnel section kept its 9 seats, while the Science section grew to 3. The student sections showed the same ratio: 6 for the Calimero list, 5 for the SOG and 1 for Lijst Sterk. The UCouncil wishes to thank all those who have cast their vote. We will do our best for you and we are happy with the confidence given to us. Should  you be interested in subjects not in this Newsletter then please do not hesitate to let us know.

Boards of Examiners
The Inspectorate of Education, commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science,   has carried out research into the functioning of Boards of Examiners at Dutch universities. Compared to the results of 2008 a clear progress is shown, but improvements are still possible. The RUG acknowledges that many of its Boards of Examiners are still in the development phase. For instance, the Boards show differences among each other, both in terms of portfolio and in the execution of  work. To promote professionalism the RUG will, in addition to earlier measures, organise, in the autumn,  a pilot course for chairpersons and members of Boards of Examiners by way of support. If this pilot is received favourably then this will be offered structurally. The UCouncil was positive about this initiative.

Accommodation plan RUG 2015 – 2024
The UCouncil agreed the investment plan 2015 – 2024 resulting from the long Term Accommodation Plan (LTHP) of the RUG. The Board indicated that the current liquidity position of the RUG, taking into account actual planned investments in real estate, is such, that borrowing is not being considered now. The UCouncil asked about this remarkable shift – only six months ago the Board announced that borrowing was an absolutely legitimate and business-wise responsible tool for modern management. According to the Board the improved liquidity position of the RUG is the only reason to choose equity over borrowed money. This is not about a fundamental principle, according to De Jeu. The UCouncil  accepted the planning.

University Council Regulations
Last month the student faction proposed a change in the  UCouncil regulations.  The formulation, ratified (compulsorily) by the Board , was adopted by the required 2/3 majority of the UCouncil.
In bold the revised text:

Article 2.1 Composition

1.    The UCouncil comprises twenty four members, i.e. twelve members chosen from and by  staff and twelve members chosen from and by students. The UCouncil may choose from its midst a chairperson and from its midst one or more
deputy chairpersons; together they make up the presidium of the UCouncil. The chairperson, or in his/her absence a  deputy chairperson, represents the UCouncil in law.

The member (the members) of the presidium is (are) chosen for a period of one year.

3.    The Board appoints, after consultation with the presidium of the UCouncil,  a clerk of the UCouncil as official  secretary to support the UCouncil.

Camera Surveillance Regulation
This month the UCouncil received the Camera Surveillance Regulation  for approval. Starting point of this regulation is the creation of an unambiguous RUG-wide policy. The objective of camera surveillance – which is by the way not new but which is now regulated – is the protection of health and safety of students and staff of the University. In addition, cameras are used to record incidents and to guard the bike sheds. The UCouncil agreed the Board’s proposal unanimously.

In response to a memorandum from the Faculty of Arts to the Board, the subject of ‘matching’ was put on the table once again in the UCouncil. The Faculty asked for advice in respect of two issues, i.e.
1.    Granting an exemption from matching to students who had participated in Webclasses or in ‘Student for a day’.  The Board emphasised that under point 1 an exemption from matching is not up for discussion, but that an exemption can be granted for participation in the activities mentioned.
2.    Not sending out letters of advice, as  the objective of matching is that student should self-select.
At this point the Board indicated that the obligation of the organisation to organise study choice activities is tied up with the obligation to publish  study choice advice. Not doing this is not an option.
The various UCouncil factions asked a number of questions and put forward suggestions, which will be included in the further continuation of the matching procedure.

International Branch Campus Yantai
The developments of the expansion to China continue unabated. The full Board went to Yantai this month and in June a number of Chinese dignitaries will come to Groningen. In the meantime the UCouncil is closely monitoring this development. In the plenary meeting an inventory of risks and opportunities was discussed and the time-path became a bit clearer. For instance,  after the summer break, the UCouncil  will be asked to agree to the strategic decision to start up an International Branch Campus.
For the time being the biggest worries, however, concern the staffing. We are very curious  about the concrete plans of the Board to replace departing lecturers, if ‘Yantai’, goes ahead.

UCouncil on Twitter:
PersoneelsfractieRUG @PfRUG
Personeel U-raad RUG @PersoneelUraad
Lijst Calimero @lijstcalimero
Lijst STERK @lijststerk

All factions also have a website.

If you belong to the staff you might want to collect our UCouncil widget from My University and get all the relevant UCouncil topics, like the agenda of the forthcoming meeting.

HOW to install the widget on My University?

For further details please contact the UR Presidium.

For staying up-to-date with what really matters at our University, please submit your e-mail address (un)subscribe to this newsletter.

If you have any questions about the newsletter and how to receive it, suggestions, etc., please reply to All input is highly appreciated!

Disclaimer: The text above is an impression of topics discussed in the UC and should not be regarded as official statements with regard to decisions taken in the UC.

Last modified:28 November 2016 09.51 a.m.
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