Dean’s blog episode 13: Of Saint Nicolas, the Sector Plan Law and what follows
A lot happened in the last two weeks. Not only was there an important message by Saint Nick and Pete, also the Sector Plan Law was finalised. We also look ahead at the Faculty Christmas gathering on Wednesday – with a surprise.
There was no lack of events in the last fortnight. On 5 December Saint Nick and his loyal companion Green Pete paid us a visit and presented all staff with an environment-friendly mug and poem. If Green Pete asks for something, this must be taken seriously and therefore the Faculty Board decided to remove all plastic cups from the building.
This puts an end to the astonishing amount of plastic cups being used everyday. This implies that, from now on, everyone must bring his or her own mug when getting coffee or tea. Equipment to clean your mug will follow soon.
Another important moment was the presentation, last Monday, of the so-called Sectorplan Rechtsgeleerdheid to the Minister of Education. Legal academia has no abundance of funding. Compared to many other academic fields we get less money for teaching and research. At the same time, it is widely recognised that the law is essential to the functioning of society and educating lawyers is a safe investment in the future of the Dutch and international rule of law. This is why, in the last few months, the deans of the ten Dutch law schools worked together with quarter master Mark Bovens on a plan to obtain more money. If all goes well, an amount of six million euros will be invested in research on law. Reading the Sector Plan (in Dutch) is worth the effort: it contains an analysis of the current state of legal scholarship in the Netherlands and indicated what is needed to strengthen the discipline.
To this end, six themes were chosen. In the coming months our Faculty will draft a plan to be assessed by an external committee. We will in any event get money for the themes Digital Legal Studies and Globalisation and in order to improve the number of young researchers.
The Faculty strategic plan mentions as one of two priorities the revision of our HR policy. A lot of work was put into this as well. The documents, including revised criteria for appointment and assessment of academic staff, were published in the FJ. The other big priority is the revision of the bachelor Rechtsgeleerdheid. The FB will propose a plan in January sketching the main characteristics of the new bachelor. Meanwhile, the rich reports of the IAG’s are gradually implemented.
December is a month characterised by graduation ceremonies and PhD defences. These are always festive events and great days for the Faculty. Thus, I found myself on two wonderful consecutive Saturdays in the Sint Jan’s Church to hand out Master’s diploma’s and to enjoy the perfect organisation by our Team Exams (check out the photo behind the screens).
At PhD defences, it is becoming a custom to take a photo on the inside stairs of the Mountain, depicting the young doctor together with supervisor, committee, paranymphs, pedel and prorector, as with last week’s ceremony of Besmir Fidahic.
I hope to see you all at the Faculty Christmas gathering on Wednesday – with a surprise – and at the inaugural lecture of our colleague Marjon Weerepas this Friday. I wish everyone very happy and well-deserved holidays and a good start of 2019.
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