Letter from the University Council

by: in University Council

Dear Members of the UM Community,

The end of the academic year is a busy time for all of us. Projects that we have been working on get finalized, everything needs to be prepared for the next academic year, and we reflect on the challenges of the past as well as the opportunities for the future.

The University Council is no different. During our June meeting, the last of the academic year, we discussed the University’s annual report, including how our financial position has developed.You’ll be happy to hear that our University is in a pretty solid financial position. The council also approved the amounts of central funding each faculty will receive next year, as well as the institutional tuition fees. We then considered the student charter, which governs the rights and duties of students at the University, and the “profileringsfonds”, which is the fund that supports students who face study delays for certain reasons. In a very positive development, this fund is now open to all students, regardless of their nationality. Relatedly, the council discussed the financial support given to students who contribute to student organizations and face study delays because of this. In a last-minute development, students on the council were able to broker a deal which enables students who do not have formal board positions but who do contribute significant amounts of time to these organizations to receive support.

During the meeting, a presentation was given about current procedures for reporting social safety concerns, both for staff and for students. As these will be revised in the near future, council members shared their concerns about how clear the current procedures are and how they could be communicated better to ensure people know where they need to go. These suggestions will be incorporated into the revision, and the new procedure will be discussed with the University Council soon.

However, the most important development that was discussed is the Executive Board’s proposal to investigate closer cooperation with the academic hospital. This is a huge project for the future of our University, with the potential to have a transformational effect on our institution. The University Council will be closely involved with this process, thinking along with this exploration and, ultimately, having a right of approval over any final plans. This will be a large part of the council’s work next year, and I will report on progress here.

Finally, the council said goodbye to the outgoing members and thanked them for their work. Being on the council is not always easy and can be a lot of work. But it is also an opportunity to serve our community and to shape the kind of institution we are. No doubt, doing nothing would have been easier, but these students and staff members rolled up their sleeves and mucked in. Everyone in this community owes them their gratitude.

Teun Dekker
Chair- University Council

  • T.J. Dekker

    Teun J Dekker (1980) is Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences Education at University College Maastricht, where he teaches courses on the intersection of the Social Sciences and the Humanities, including History of Political Thought and Distributive Justice in Contemporary Political Philosophy.

    As Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences Education, his main duties are: