De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Meet the rector 2011

I attended a traditional meeting of the university stuff with the rector. Last time I’ve done it in november 2009. Many things have changed since that, most importantly, the rector. Karel Luyben took this post in January 2010.

I think (thought) I know Karel Luyben pretty well since beforehead he was the dean of our department for almost twelve years. He is very assertive and energetic, can emit charisma and lead, quick to form an opinion, and even quicker to implement it. You undrestand that these qualities can be eihter good or bad for achieving your personal goals, depenging on mutual orientation of you and Karel Luyben.

Perhaps I can illustrate this with a short story. About 3 years ago we underwent a centralization of computer systems of the whole university. There was an information meeting about the development. During the meeting, I understood that if plans are implemented I will not be able to use my computer anymore. I have tried to reason that perhaps the centralization does not have to be so overwhelming. The guy responsible for this made very big eyes and said I have to talk to the dean about this. At 10 p.m. I’ve emailed to the dean. Next morning I’ve found a one-page response message dated by 3 a.m. (!). From this I’ve learned that the dean (i) strongly disproves my involvement with the centralization and warns me not to stay in the way of the progress, (ii) advises to learn more about the program, perhaps starting with correct spelling of its name, (iii) commands computer people to attend my needs. The latter has worked, I do not have computer problems anymore (many students around do have, but this is a different story…).

Coming back to the meeting on Friday. In contrast to previous setups, people gathered (about 20) have presented all layers of the university community, including assistant and associated professors. This has actually resuled in more active and multi-topic discussion. The format of the meeting was not fixed but quickly and naturally become a question-answer session: people pose questions, and Karel Luyben answered. Yet from time to time people answered each other questions.

Learned a couple of (relatively) new things. So-called “allocation model” that concerned distribution of money within the university, resulted in intense internal competetion and intense administrating of education and research, does not have the support of the rector. (Looks like we’d better compete externally. Gosh, quite some people openly complained…). Promotion of young people to Ph.D. is the primary task of this university. TU Delf will profile itself as a “broad” technical university, perhaps not pumping all money into selected research/educational activities.

To summarize, it was an interesting and lively meeting. From the other hand, on my taste it was a bit too chaotic and diverse: in fact we could only get through two points of the five-point agenda. I even complained about it in the end of the meeting: perhaps it is a good idea to have it with smaller number of participants.

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