Letter from the University Council

by: in University Council

Dear members of the UM community,

As the new year gets underway, I just wanted to give you all an update on what the University Council has been up to. At the end of last year, the Council had its twice-yearly meeting with the Supervisory Board (SB). This is the body that is appointed by the Minister of Education to supervise the Executive Board (EB), which includes selecting the members of the Executive Board, but also approving the annual report and ratifying important decisions. Hence it is crucial for the SB to understand the views of the Council. We used the meeting to exchange our perspectives on the big issues we have been working on so that the SB understands the council’s views and priorities.

We also had our final plenary of the year. The Speaker’s Quarter was used by a student who wished to share his perspective on how the university is dealing with tensions in the community regarding the ongoing developments in Gaza. The student argued that the current code of conduct, which governs what we regard as acceptable behaviour in the University Community, should be further specified to explicitly condemn antisemitism and anti-Islamism. In response, the EB explained that the Student Service Centre will look into this over the next few months.

The University Council then discussed the university’s new framework for knowledge security, which seeks to ensure that UM’s international cooperation projects do not lead to sensitive knowledge being shared with dangerous actors or being used in morally problematic ways. Moreover, the Council also approved the new regulations for the Ombuds Officer. As of January 1, students can ask for their help in solving problems they might have with fellow students, staff, and official bodies and cannot solve any other way. Lastly, after many rounds of discussion, the Council gave final approval to next year’s budget.

No doubt, next year will bring many interesting opportunities and challenges, whether it’s the political debate about internationalization in higher education, the further cooperation with the Academic Hospital, or things we haven’t even thought of. However, no matter what happens, the University Council will be there to represent the interests of staff and students and make sure that their perspectives are considered in every significant decision.

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: 

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