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Governance

University of Groningen

The University of Groningen is a organization of professionals. The success of the University is the shared responsibility of management, staff and students. The University uses the consultation model to generate commitment to strategic goals and related policies. Faculties and services have a mandate that allows them, within a given framework, to adjust University strategies and policies to their specific disciplines and situations and thus to some extent set their own agenda.

A sound management information system and a Plan-Do-Check-Act control cycle at all levels (Board, Faculty and institutions) of the University are used to assess the effectiveness of plans and measures that are implemented. Results are reported twice a year and discussed at the Administrative Meetings between the Board of the University and the faculties/services. The outcome of these meetings determines whether the University continues measures, modifies or cancels them. The funding is adjusted accordingly.

Within this system there is a healthy tension between trust in our staff and granting them autonomy and the role of the University as a public organization that needs to be accountable and transparent to society. In the last decade, the need for the latter has significantly increased. This has led to extra control cycles in the University and increased tension between the desire for staff autonomy and the need for control.

Vision

The successful running of the University is based upon a continuous process in which management, staff and students discuss and negotiate the framework and goals of the University. Within this evolving framework, staff are given freedom in how they choose to achieve these goals. This process is based on trust, the acknowledgement by all parties of a shared responsibility and the recognition of the different formal roles of each. Furthermore, as we must be accountable and transparent to society, we monitor our quality, goals and achievements. To combine these starting-points successfully the University will decrease the bureaucracy created by the need to be accountable to society wherever possible.

Aim

To strengthen the commitment and responsibility of the staff, students and management for the success and the wellbeing of the University and the University community.

In order to achieve our aim we will:

  • increase the involvement of staff, students and management based on their different formal roles and right of say in the process and their autonomy within the given framework
  • make the governance more strategy and output-driven by basing decisions on the plans for and the realization of set targets
  • decrease the staff workload generated by the need to be accountable to society
  • reinvent accountability to society via a relevant but limited and broadly accepted set of goals

Strategies

The governance system of shared objectives and autonomy in achieving these will be further implemented in order to increase the involvement of the academic community in the University and its functioning. In addition, the extensive administrative and participation circuit will continue to be used for ongoing discussion and negotiation on University strategy and policy. Moreover, we will further facilitate the professional development of the staff and students who sit on committees.

To support the governance system we will continue to develop an integral, extensive and accurate management information system to monitor quality, goals and achievements. The information system will ensure good control and an understanding of the essential processes within the University, which is necessary if we are to achieve our strategic goals and enhance our decision-making processes and accountability. It will also help us in our aim to reward good performance and operations that have been well thought through as well as help us to reinvent accountability, thereby decreasing the staff workload.

Last modified:19 July 2018 10.12 a.m.
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