Dean’s blog episode 3: from Blue Monday to the Dies Natalis
Many things happened at the Faculty in the past fortnight. Friday 26 January, we celebrated the 42nd Dies Natalis of the UM. The one thing I always like about this celebration is that it is enormously varied compared to other universities’ anniversaries.
While we all survived Blue Monday and applauded last Friday’s election of a legal document – the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe – as the most important showpiece in the Netherlands, I counted no less than six conferences @lawinmaastricht in 12 days time.
This can be easily explained from the fact that January is a teaching-free period for many colleagues, as well as a period in which our Banquet Hall and Statenzaal are usually available. I was present at the conference on legal education, wonderfully organised by Jos Hamers and former colleague Wilma Dreissen (now at the Open University), at which we welcomed many colleagues from other Dutch law faculties. I also took part in the think tank meeting about Data Science and Law that was greatly organised by our very own Marta Santos Silva together with Michel Dumontier and other colleagues of IDS@UM and of DKE. About 20 colleagues gave pitches of maximum 2 minutes, followed by break out-sessions.
I had also intended to join the conference on ADR on Thursday 15 January, but the storm kept me in a café in the Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam. Only thanks to Twitter, I could still make a few virtual remarks.
Last Friday we celebrated the 42nd Dies Natalis of the UM. The one thing I always like about this celebration is that it is enormously varied compared to other universities’ anniversaries. While at other places the anniversary lecture tends to last for 45 minutes (one could be tempted to fall asleep), Maastricht offers something for everyone: brief lectures, awarding of honorary doctorates, music and more. Next to stimulating talks about data science, the prizes for the best student theses were awarded. Our vice-dean for education Jos Hamers awarded the prize for the best bachelor essay to Remon Tulen, Constanta Rosca and Nikki Janssen. In the afternoon the rector handed the prize for the best master thesis to Esmée Driessen (now a lecturer in Leiden). Her work was entitled Legal bottlenecks when implementing the Right to Challenge in the social domain. A study of the democratic legitimisation, financing and legal protection of the Right to Challenge in the Netherlands.
The Faculty Board now published the call for the Faculty Innovation Challenge 2018. Everyone is invited to compose a small team and submit a proposal. The Board is truly curious to see what you will come up with. Ideas can be about anything related to the Faculty: teaching, research, organisation, building, garden, interior, etc.
Do discuss this within your department, group, study association or tutorial if you like. The deadline for submission is April 2nd. The prize winner will be announced at a festive event in the spring. We have great expectations of your ideas!
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