Our people are the key to success in research, education and societal involvement. Our people – with their talent, passion and motivation – make the difference in a top-grade environment. We can only fulfill the Erasmus Mission, if we are able to keep our talented and enthousiastic staff members. This requires a professional service and operational management, and an attractive working environment.
During the opening of the academic year in September 2019, we have proudly presented our new strategy: Strategy2024 Creating Positive Societal Impact. With our mission, we shape the transition toward the values we, Erasmus University Rotterdam, stand for. This way, we take our responsibility for the complex societal challenges we face as a society today.
Our education enables students to become gamechangers: to initiate change in their own play field, with societal responsibility. Our curiosity-driven research is increasingly interdisciplinary and builds upon excellent research in the separate academic disciplines. Creating added value and societal relevance demands openness and responsibility.
With Strategy2024, we shape a future in which we can truly realise positive societal impact. It describes how we realise these ambitions in our own unique way, i.e. the Erasmian Way. We won’t only further shape our Erasmian Values. Rather, we will also build upon the experience and methods arisen from the strategy design process: interdisciplinarity, inclusivity, from the inside out and together with the community in a co-creative way.
Examples of projects in 2019
EUR is – and will always be – an active university. Therefore, we haven’t waited until the official start of the strategic timeframe in September 2019. Based on the outcome of the Strategy Design Labs and anticipating on the shaping of the plan, several projects have already been executed:
Together with the community, the concept of Being an Erasmian has been defined. The way our mission functions as a compass, our thinking and work is guided by the values we, as Erasmus University Rotterdam, internalise and represent outwards. These are values that are in our DNA, that we embed in our research, and convey in our education. Inspired by the school of thought of Desiderius Erasmus, we shape our identity and the way we think and act. This, we call ‘being an Erasmian’.
EUR is of the opinion that entrepreneurship is an important vanguard of societal impact. Both commercial entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship creates employment and prosperity in the region, and offers students and staff members the possibility to develop entrepreneurial skills. To achieve this, in 2019, the foundation has been built to create an Erasmus Incubator, aiming to build a ‘ecosystem’ of societal impact.
Also, in 2019 an exploration has been performed for an EUR-design initiative. An important part of this approach of societal impact is a common understanding of the importance of research, methodology and education for societal validation and innovation. By means of design, we can systematically develop, teach, learn and apply human-directed techniques. This way, we can find solutions to societal issues in a creative and innovative way, and nourish the commercial sector, contributing to an increase in prosperity.
At Erasmus University Rotterdam, we consider alumni as a part of our community. The university is proud at its alumni and cherishes their relationship.
It is important that alumni are informed about the university, our mission and our results. We also want to inspire them to support us in our mission. In 2019, we have worked on a central Alumni Engagement Strategy, a programme that is valuable to alumni and supports the university’s strategic ambitions.
From USC to Professional Services
Reorganisation top structure USC
The University Support Centre’s reorganisation shaped an important next step in the development of EUR’s operational management. Societal developments and new techniques demand a new perspective on research and education. The operation management has to be organised and governed much more than before from the EUR strategy, societal developments and new techniques. Advancing research and education becomes the core business of the operational management and support. The emphasis is on leadership in realising the EUR strategy, rather than merely supporting the question of the internal client. This stimulates the speed of the vision’s realisation, and the flexibility of the next steps in the development process. The new organisation is at the start of the process.
The change requires a lot of effort, and the need is stressed by both deans and operational managers within the faculties and services. With the plan, the reorganisation can soon become reality, preparing EUR for the necessary next step.
Position service director and faculty director operational management
The connection with the EUR ambition is guaranteed by transferring the direct responsibility of the operational management’s vision development to the Executive Board. The portfolio holders of the Executive Board have conversations with the service director responsible for the concerning operational management position. As a result of the employment of faculty directors operational management, the service director now have an equal business partner. Together, they elevate the EUR-wide operational management, guided by the specific needs of the faculties, the societal developments and new technological possibilities. This leads to even better research and education.
The change of the governance model and the reinforcement of the service director’s and faculty directors’ are prerequisite to work in a different way. Leadership-based operational management means working from the outside in, letting go of traditional hierarchal relations, and collaborating in networks within, but even outside of EUR. Delivering a contribution to the EUR-wide strategy and EUR-wide operational management demands knowledge of new technologies, and passion and flexibility to continuously change and stay informed of your professional discipline. Besides, the faculties’ specific needs demand courage, effort, durability and curiosity of the next developments. The service director has the important role to facilitate his or her staff members to realise these changes.
Six services have been created with a common front office for staff members and students:
- Education & Student Affairs (E&S)
- Marketing & Communication (M&C)
- Human Resources (HR)
- Real Estate & Facilities (RE&F): bundling the units Real Estate Services and Facility Services
- Information Technology (IT): bundling the units IT Development and IT Services
- Finance (F)
Level Up - Professional Services Day
On 27 June, Roelien Ritsema van Eck (EB) launched the Professional Services Community, consisting of all EUR staff members. During the first annual recurring event Level Up, Kristel Baele, Chair of the Executorial Board, a sneak preview of the new strategy. Subsequently, they attended interesting and inspiring workshops about developments in their discipline, technology and personal development.
A modern and attractive employer
Recognition and appreciation
The theme Recognition & Appreciation has been a top priority since all Dutch knowledge institutions and their research funders (VSNU, NFU, KNAW, NOW and ZonMw) offered their joint position paper to the Minister of Education in November 2019. In the paper, the parties share their view on how they want researchers to be recognized and appreciated more. This means less emphasis on the number of publications and more emphasis on other domains of research activity, such as education and impact. All signees agree that this broad sense of recognition and appreciation better suits the current core tasks of knowledge and education institutions and what society expects from them. The guidelines, aims and agreements to achieve these aims, fit EUR’s ambitions in Strategy 2024, a strategy plan written in 2019. Furthermore, this development is consistent with the guidelines of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). This is a worldwide initiative, meant to pay less attention to bibliometric indicators (such as publications and citations) in assessments of academics, and to pay more attention to other criteria.
EUR’s ambitions in the area of Recognition & Appreciation are the basis of a multiyear-plan, that is put into practice in a collaboration with VSNU. A system of recognition and appreciation of academics is needed that:
- enables diversification and dynamization of career paths, stimulating excellence in all core domains;
- takes into account both the independence and individual qualities and ambitions of researchers, as well as team achievements;
- focuses on quality of the work, rather than quantitative results (such as number of publications);
- stimulates all aspects of open science;
- stimulates high quality academic leadership.
The agreements on the propositions to be put into practice, are related to two types of ambitions:
- A re-design of academic career paths
- Assessing research and research proposals on quality.
Personal development and results steering
In 2019, an audit of the effectiveness of EUR’s R&O system took place. The audit was held in close collaboration with the organization. Seven panel sessions, consisting of different target groups within the organization, delivered input on pros and cons of the R&O system. Right after the publication of the audit report, the new R&O round within EUR was planned. Therefore, priority was given to a few quick wins fort he R&O round of 2019. This way, a great number of recommendations from the audit has been performed, especially concerning the digital form and the communication. A number of recommendations demands a review from the existing R&O regulations that are scheduled for 2021.
Within EUR, several channels have been opened via the Career in Progress portal, to enable staff members easy access to development and mobility opportunities. This is very appreciated. A number of means are:
- Personal Career Budget: staff members can spend up to €500 annually on their future development.
- Workspot: a portal where a match between ‘temporary work’ and staff members is made to increase corporate mobility. Support from the CIP fund (financial mean) is possible, if needed.
- Mobility manager and Career Coaches: internal and external career coaching and support.
- Career in Progress: portal with among others online tests, testimonials, information on network organisations that have a relationship with EUR, a position map of all positions within EUR.
Personal Career Budget
Number of applications
Aantal lopende & afgeronde trajecten
In 2019, a group of seven LDE trainees started, and the cohort of 2018-2020 changed their duties. The training and development platform (TOP) organised the recruitment, the training programme and the coaching of the trainees.
Since October 2017, all departing staff members received an exit survey. From the results, it stems that the termination of a temporary employment contract and better career possibilities elsewhere are the two most salient reasons for departure. In general, staff members report a positive working environment, especially from their direct colleagues. The survey results serve as management information and are important for policy makers. Twice a year, the Executive Board and the deans receive a report on the results, and each organization department receives their own report.
Training & Development Platform (TOP)
The training and Development Platform (TOP) organises organisation specific and generic courses and tailor made training courses. Also, they organise several university events, together with other organization departments.
TOP has organised 40 open training courses, for 313 participants. Besides, 20 tailor-made projects have been organised for 221 participants. In total, 534 participants. 76% of the surveyed staff members say they are familiar with TOP’s offer. EUR’s offer in the area of training, education and coaching is assessed by staff members with a 7 out of 10.
Concerning leadership development of academics, TOP organised two editions of the programme Academic Leadership, with 40 participants.
Share Your Knowledge
Between 18 and 22 March 2019, the 3rd successful edition of the Share Your Knowledge Week took place. 24 colleagues organised workshops for their own colleagues. The subjects varied from public speaking skills too mindfulness, and from working safe to speed typing. They received a train the trainer workshop, to train their teaching skills. The workshops were visited by 322 colleagues, and delivered a direct contribution to staff members’ development.
TOP contributed to the organisation and realisation of the Career Week. A week with several activities in the area of career development, such as workshops, lectures and a career market. The activities were visited by 467 colleagues.
Healthy and safe working and study climate
Reinforcing the network of actors involved in a safe working and study climate is an important factor for success. A socially safe working climate, a physically safe working climate, data protection and health were looked at in their totality. In 2019, a number of improvements have been realised:
- The start of an ombudsperson for students and staff members
- Two dialogue sessions on social safety
- The start of an integral approach on a Healthy and Safe Work Life
In 2020, the HR department starts the programme Healthy and Safe Work Life with different projects within this theme, including RI&E, prevention workers, a follow-up on pressure at work and a follow-up on social safety.
Realisation plan Staff member survey
In 2018, the last staff members survey took place. This survey was conducted by Effectory and was the last research to be conducted within the current contract. In 2019, the organisation departments have worked on the execution of the plans to solve the problems arisen from the staff member survey. An important theme within this solution was pressure at work, a theme that still demands attention. In 2020, in collaboration with our academics, the design of a new form and execution of the staff member survey is planned, enabling us to start a launch a new survey in 2021.
In June 2019, Edith Weijnen has started as an ombudsperson at EUR. Installing an ombudsperson is a pilot, started at the initiative of VSNU, that will be evaluated in 2020. EUR evaluates its own pilot in the summer of 2021. With the introduction of the ombudsperson, the network of actors on safety has been extended. In 2020, knowledge is shared between several actors within the network, by hosting networking events.
EUR-wide initiatives: Work-life balance coaches
In 2018, a number of EUR-wide initiatives were started, including the work-life balance coaches. This is a group of eleven external coaches, all with their own approach. All EUR staff members can consult them. In 2019, this occurred 60 times. To approach the theme ‘Safe and Healthy Work Life’ in an integral way, a Senior Policy Advisor was employed at the HR department in 2019.
To realise our EUR ambitions, we need leaders who both have knowledge of the substance and who can create a positive and safe working environment for all staff members. Late 2019, a start has been made with the development of an EUR-wide leadership framework suiting the strategy and core values: trust, respect, transparency, cooperation and connection. Embedding the existing leadership trajectories, developing new training courses, and shaping supporting instruments for the sake of leadership will be further developed in the following years by this overarching and suiting framework. The directors’ leadership trajectory is one of the completed initiatives. This was a team development trajectory of eight months, stimulating leadership qualities and collaboration, and hence, improving the quality of Professional Services and EUR.
In 2019, the Professional Services Awards (PSA) have been awarded (formerly known as Top Support Awards). With the new name, suiting the new strategy, the criteria have been adjusted as well:
- Delivered exceptional achievement/s, who would not have been possible without the involved person/s.
- Acting as ambassador/s of the motto Professional support by collaboration on the realisation of efficienct and innovative solutions to become a topuniversity with societal impact, in words and deeds, setting an example for colleagues.
- Shape collective core competences for Professional Service in an examplary and motivating way: collaboration, innovation, customer and societal involvement.
- Passion for EUR and ambassadorship for Erasmian Values.
The individual prize was awarded to Adhemare de Rijk, Funding Manager Research at ESE and ESPhil. The team prize was awarded to the Science Hub of Service M&C. See appendix.2 for more information.
Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion Office
This year, Diversity & Inclusion Office has expanded to 6 FTe. This way, many more activities can be realized in the area of inclusive educational experience for all students, a diversified workforce at EUR, and integrating and anchoring diversity in our research practices. D&I Office is occupied with creating goal oriented and effective policy that creates a safe study and working environment, stimulating social justice for everyone. Besides, the Office connects, supports and advises all relevant units within EUR, in collaboration with the faculty diversity offices of the faculties.
H2020 subsidy for ECWO en D&I Office
The partnership EQUAL4EUROPE, of which EUR is part, received a Horizon 2020 subsidy worth 3 million euros from the European Union. Eight institutions work together on the development of tools, the identification of best practices for institutions to tackle gender inequality in decision processes and a better integration of gender themes in research and innovations. Apart from this, the partnership has a main goal: Taking away burdens in recruitment of, maintenance of and the career development of female researchers. The Erasmus Centre for women in organisations (Erasmus Women ECWO) and D&I Office are responsible for EUR’s contribution.
Realisation of Job Agreement Act positions
As part of the Participation Act, 40 positions have been filled up by persons from the target group Job Agreement Act. This is 51 percent compared to the aim of 78 jobs (of each 25,5 hours). To achieve this aim, in the first quarter of 2019, the focus had been on individual placements within the organisational departments. Afterwards, the focus has been broaded by placements through collective job realisation and by a first exploration of job realisation through procurement and social return. Besides, a training programme has been started to support coaches and supervisors of staff members with a disability. During this training, theories and examples from practice are discussed, and tools needed to coach (new) staff members in their new job are acquired. 14 staff members took part in this training programme.
Unfortunately, the 2019 target of creating 78 jobs has not been met. Searching for suitable and fitting vacancies takes a lot of time, making individual placements very labour intensive. As a result, realising a rapid increase in the number of jobs is difficult. In 2020, the job realisation for people with a disability will be continued.
Het Dual Career Programme has, at the time, become a strong and recognisable network in the regio and in the Netherlands. In this programme, partners of new international staff members are assisted in their step into the Dutch labour market. It is due to the partnership Leiden-Delft-Erasmus (LDE) that 52 percent of partners finds a job. At EUR, this is even 80 percent. Besides, the Dual Career Network (DCN) is one of the most important parts of the effort intention, as agreed by the LDE universities in the Human Capital Agreement, for the attraction of international talent for the province of Zuid-Holland.
Within DCN, EUR is an important and often approached partner for the region. Exchange of candidates occurs frequently through Rotterdam Werkt, Rotterdam Partners, The Hague Expat Center, Leiden Expat Center, and Delft Technology Partners. Besides, there are preferred partners such as Vopak, Patagonia, Port of Rotterdam, Allison Transmission, Allianz and the Rotterdam International School.
In 2019, the management teams of all faculties and Professional Services of EUR were invited for an implicit bias training. Aim of the training was to make participants conscious of their own prejudices, as well as the collective prejudices within EUR. They received the tools needed to address prejudices in their working place. The management teams of Professional Services, the University Library, the General Management Directorate (ABD), Erasmus MC and ESPhil have completed the training. The management teams of ESHPM, ESSB and ISS have completed the first part of their training. RSM, ESE, ESL and ESHCC will start the training in 2020. Due to the positive experiences evoked by the training and the added value of addressing implicit prejudices, ABD decided to organise the training for all staff members.
Women in Academia-training
Between 6 and 8 February and 21 and 22 March 2019, the third edition of the Women in Academia training events took place. Through interaction with highly talented female academics, participants could discover their own talents and expand their networks. The training course provided tools on how to build your career strategically, and offered knowledge and skills on how to strive towards (senior) supervisory positions. 16 talented female associate professors of different faculties attended the training. They assessed the training in an extremely positive way, giving a score of 4.5 out of 5.
Percentage female professors
Diversity and inclusion, as well achieving social equality is an important topic in the EUR Strategy 2024. Although the share of male and female PhD students and university lecturers is well-balanced (ca. 50%), EUR is at the bottom of all Dutch university when it comes to female full professors. Late 2018, only 14.5 percent of all full professors were female (LNVH, 2019). Fortunately, late 2019, this number was increased to 20 percent, a good achievement within a year. Hence, the aim of 20% of all full professors being female in 2020 has been met, as agreed with the Ministry of Education (LNVH, 2015). With a number of initiatives, EUR strives to increase the gender balance even more, aiming for a share of 25% of females among full professors in 2025.
International Women's Day
International Women’s Day was celebrated under the motto ‘Inspire, Connect and Celebrate Women’. The night of 8 March, Studium Generale and AIESEC displayed a film on nine women fighting for freedom and education and the stories of their lives. Subsequently, a discussion was held with Mansi Jasuja, specialist in the area of capacity building and gender empowerment. On International Women’s Day, participants of different EUR departments discussed the achievements of women in different disciplines, varying from female nobel prize laureates to female legends in music and art.
International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)
On 17 May, the rainbow flag was raised on the EUR campus, to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community and for a call on equal rights for all people, regardless of sexual preference or gender expression. Hence, EUR supports all LGBTQ colleagues, friends and family and emphasises that LGBTQ rights are human rights, and that inclusion is part of our identity as Erasmian.
Advancing Social Equity in Academia Event
To increase social equality and gender equality, D&I Office organised Advancing Social Equity in Academia (ASEiA) op 21 November 2019. It was emphasised here, that diversity and inclusion is of great importance if EUR aims to remain a top university and to increase its societal impact. It was also discussed how inclusion can be increased in the academic world, the business world, the public sector and in wider society. Among the participants were three inspiring external speakers: Professor Jadranka Gvozdanovic (University Heidelberg), Karima Belhaj (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) en Drs. Marjan Hammersma (Ministry of Education). They reflected on the societal importance of social and gender inequality. Two internal speakers, rector magnificus Rutger Engels and Chief Diversity Officer Semiha Denktas presented policy measure 25/25, aimed at supporting career progress of female talent.
25/25 policy measure
During the ASEiA event, EUR officially launched the policy measure 25/25. Talented female academics with ambition are prepared for the next step in their professional career. This is achieved by among others dedicated mentors, portfolio analysis and independent feedback on porfolios and funds. Almost 100 female assistant and associate professors, spread among all faculties of Woudestein, have joined the first round of the policy measure, that takes place from November 2019 until November 2020. The 25/25 initiative is a visible promise of the EUR community to increase female representation within the organisation.
Campus in development
The campus-wide project Campus in Development, that took off in 2010, remains in progress. In 2019, a number of smaller projects has been realised. For example, the clock at Erasmus Plaza, artist Hans Citroen’s artwork Global Time, started running after ten years. The artwork was donated to the academic community by the former Faculty of Social Sciences (now ESSB), the former Faculty of Historical and Art Studies (now ESHCC) and the former Faculty of Law (now ESL).
Work at Heights
The 18th and 19th floor of the Mandeville Building have been rebuilt. Adjustments were made of the central AC installation and the climate installation. Inner walls and floors were maintained for the new users, staff members of the Finance department and staff members of the Erasmus School of Economics from the N Building.
Footbridge, Carillon and Wing
After a lengthy time of work in progress, the footbridge (the glass bridge between the Erasmus Building and the Tinbergen Building) and the carillon were inaugurated by a play of the Erasmus Hymne. During the opening, the wing that was donated by Professor Jaen Paelinck (Professor of Public Administration, with a focus on Spatial Economy, 1969-1995) to the Erasmus School of Economics.
Light screens University Library
Local residents had asked the university to block excess light of the University Library at night. A suitable solution was implemented: The use of light screens. All stakeholders were satisfied with this solution.
Student Living Room
Since 2019, students have a living room in Tinbergen Building, where thet can meet other students and relax. They can talk about study pressure or play a board game. The living room is an initiative to increase students' wellbeing.
Stewards for a Livable Campus
Since September, three stewards have been employed to patrol the campus, and keep it livable. For instance, they approach students who do not place their bike in a bike stand, and guard that smokers only smoke in one of the smoking areas.
On 1 August 2020, the campus will be smoke-free. Until then, there are five smoking zones. These are the only areas where smoking is allowed from September 2019 until July 2020.
Rotterdams School of Management had expressed a desire of 'One School, One Building'. The feasibility of new housing of RSM at the southside of the campus, as well as the possibilities of existing real estate combined with the existing Bayle Building were investigated. Due to the release of the N Building and the desire of the Executorial Board to attract incubators to the campus and realise a design school, even the feasibility of these desires in the N Building had been investigated.
New building for educational activities next to Polak Building
A tender process has been initiated for a sustainable and multi-purpose building for educational activities. This building should be realised next to the Polak Building, in 2022. The new building has the same size as the Polak Building, and will have more or less the same functionalities for lecture halls and ca. 600 study spaces.
Tinbergen Building: The perfect place to study
By postponing the Tinbergen Building's renovation, it was decided in 2019 to improve the construction of a some rooms, enabling the creation of study spaces and lecture halls. The 560 extra study spaces have been decorated with cosiness in mind: hip wallpaper, desk lamps, plants and a carpet on the floor here and there. Now, the renvoation will be initatied in 2022, upon the completion of the new building for educational activities, next to the Polak Building.
New Recreational Centre
In 2019, EUR completed the tender process of a new recreational centre. In August 2020, the activities next to the Sanders Building will begin. The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences will also purchase recreational hours. Characteristic for the new fitness complex is the indoor street that connects two parts of the building. The indoor street also serves a social purpose, as students can meet there on their way to and from the workout areas.
Erasmus Super Study Weeks
For a long time, students have reportted that students from other educational institutions were using the study spaces at EUR. Therefore, EUR organised Erasmus Super Study Weeks in June. During the busy exam weeks, students could only use study spaces on campus upon showing their EUR Student ID Card. Students were very enthousiast about this initiative. Hence, the Super Study Weeks were organised again in December.
Due to the amount of exams to be held in December, there wasn't enoygh space for all students. Hence, for almost 2000 students, examination rooms were hired at Rotterdam Ahoy.
The realisation of student housing behind the Van der Groot Building is discussed with the City of Rotterdam. The land is partly owned by the City and partly by the EUR. To enable plans, the zoning plan will slightly have to be adjusted. The university prepares a tender process for the realisation and exploitation of 325 to 450 student rooms. Before the building process starts, a bypass road will be made at the southside of the campus, neccessary for logistic processes. The realisation of this road will start in 2020. The start of the building process of the housing is planned for late 2022.
In 2019, a route map Sustainable Campus had been drafted, together with the faculties. Aim is to reduce EUR's ecological footprint, to come to a CO2 neutral campus. The route map has seven focuses:
- Built environment
- Waste management
- Food and catering
- Green campus
- Participation and communication
As formulated in Strategy 2024, EUR stimulates and facilitates the support of an active and involved community with visible sustainability projects and initiatives. Therefore, several sustainability projects have been initiated in 2019.
- The start-off has been given for a new energy neutral recreational centre and a very sustainable and circular multi-purpose educational building.
- Solar panels have been placed on the roof of the Erasmus Building and the Van der Groot Building.
- Additional water taps have been installed in the Polak Building to stimulate the use of tap water and reduce the use of bottled water.
- An important step towards sustainable waste management - and ultimately waste prevention - is the start of a project to replace the current waste bins by bins that enable sorted waste collection. The project will be completed in 2020. At that point, all buildings on campus will have waste bins enabling sorted waste collection in three to five waste streams.
- Together with the caterers, EUR continuously works on the improvement and stimulation of a more varied and healthier food offer, using seasonal and locally sourced products and reducing food waste. The measures should result in a more sustainable chain and lower CO2 emissions. In the new contract with caterer Vitam, a lot of attention has been paid to a healthy and sustainable food offer: a lot more vegetarian and vegan choices will be offered, and choosing them will be easier.
- Highlight was the inauguration of the Campus Garden in Park Noord on campus. This garden has eatable plants, fruits, vegetables and spices - and is planted and maintained by students and staff members. Everything is cultivated according to the principles of sustainable agriculture. There is even a bee palace.