1. Bert Willems


After six years as a representative (four at the Faculty Council and two at the University-Council), I am running again as a candidate for the University Council. I work at the department of Economics since 2006, where I teach mathematical economics (game theory) and energy economics. I am also member of the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) and the Tilburg University Badminton Club (TBSV Sauron).

Our University faces many new challenges. The Corona crisis brings about many uncertainties both for students and personnel. The Dutch landscape of higher education is changing rapidly. Politicians provide less funding for social sciences, want less competition between universities, fewer programs and more structural collaboration. Red tape and bureaucracy has transformed our teaching process into a standardized cookie factory, where precious little time remains for new research ideas or innovation in teaching. I am enthusiastic to run again to address those challenges. Next academic year a (almost fully) new Executive Board will be instated, which is likely to lead to interesting novel dynamics. 

I am proud of our achievements the past two years within the University Council. We are currently a small fraction but have been able to punch above our weight and had an impact on the discussions in the Council and decisions made by the Executive Board. We were often able to collaborate the independents (the other personnel fraction) and the two student fraction (Sam and Front), and provided an extra voice with a different accent (both figuratively and literally). Luckily I could fall back on motivated team. This year, our team has been strengthened with some new faces. 

The preparation to the elections, although even more hectic than normal due to the Corona crisis, has been energizing. It was an opportunity to revisit our priorities and shared goals. Our Core Values remain our primary point of reference for our activities at the University Council and have aged rather well. Those core values are as relevant today as they were 6 years ago. 

In the last two years I was a member of the “Daily Board” of the University Council, where I looked into University wide strategic issues, such as for instance HR policy, executive education (e.g.TIAS), collaboration with other Universities (e.g. JADS), and stayed in touch with the Board of Governors. As a member of TISEM’s Council I was involved with the development of the new strategic plan, the adjustment of internal financial allocation mechanism, the implementation of the Tilburg Education Plan, the appointment of a new dean, and the creation of new departments and teaching programs. 

I had the opportunity to work and study in several international universities and to collaborate with diverse groups (engineers, lawyers, climatologists) and hope that those experiences will provide useful points of reference for the University Council. As Educational Coordinator of TiSEM’s Graduate School have mentored Research Master and PhD-students. As one of the least represented groups at our university, I take their interest especially at heart. This applies more generally. In comparison to other universities, TiU has a large share of temporary employees. We need an adequate long-term HR vision also for those colleagues.

twitter: @_b_willems
personal website: www.bertwillems.com

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2. Anne Rutkowski

Diversity and crossing bridges have always been the key words in my career and personal life. The very first Erasmus exchange program brought me in 1993 for my Research Master to Tilburg University (TSH). It surely was a challenge adapting to a new academic environment as an expat. Through the years, amazing colleagues, outstanding support staff and students helped me on the way to acculturation. Particularly, I learned that the so-called Dutch consensus was not about compromising your values.

I support TiU-International’s core values: Knowledge knows no borders, Excellence in research and teaching, Thorough, inclusive, and transparent governance and Top people at the top. I wish to dedicate part of my time and energy representing TiU International in pursuing their mission.

Higher-education institutions are the windows of the society, working in higher-education is therefore a privilege. My research interests and publications bridge Information System and human sciences in addressing topics such as group decision making, virtual teams, processes of attention with technology, work-life balance, as well as socially responsible use of Information Technology.

Applications of my work are found mostly in the field of education and high reliability organizations. I have consistently emphasized the importance of increasing rather than decreasing human control over technology by proposing better policy making (checks and balances). I work on developing strategies to for example cope with information overload. Responsible development of advanced communication, digitalization and technical devices are essential on the campus. However, it should not be an extra burden that led to a form of depersonalization of contacts in our organization. Technologies should not substitute the soft skills required to our core tasks. It should be an innovative support that eases bureaucracy, improve communication and innovation in education. I will surely take a close look at the policy needed regarding our work-life balance style and, the role technology plays in supporting us: bright and dark side.

To conclude, I am very focused on giving back, investing time, and growing Tilburg University. Through my actions as TiU-International member, I wish supporting both our separateness and our togetherness!

Twitter: @annerutkowski
Website: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/staff/a-rutkowski

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3. Lies Siemons

Diversity, equal opportunity, inspiring work and study environment, pro-active career development opportunities for support staff, stronger collaboration between schools, departments and divisions, a healthy HR vision for both employees as the organization, are the topics I would like to focus on in the university council.

After 2 years in the AS Division Council, I am hoping to broaden my participation impact via the University Council. As a grant officer/advisor I work at the central Grant Support Team within AS. Before the centralization of the Grant Support department, I was located within the schools (TLS and TSB) as a grant advisor, mainly supporting researchers in acquiring individual research grants. In my current position, my focus is on education and I help teachers applying for funding. This brings me in contact with many staff members (academic and OBP) across all of our 5 schools. In addition, I have been very fortunate to work directly with (international) students as an admission officer (f.i. at TSHD).

I want to represent my colleagues in the university council and be a voice for support staff as well as for academics, university-wide. It is important that the board and leaders of our university are sensitive to the ideas and needs of university staff and as university council, we have an opportunity to make them aware of these. Let’s do this.

Website: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/staff/e-j-siemons 

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4. Anne Meuwese

If I get elected into the University Council this would be my first time actively participating in the medezeggenschap (the Dutch term for the formalized ‘staff participation’ mechanisms that we have in Dutch higher education institutions). In over ten years working at Tilburg University, first as associate professor, later as full professor of European and Comparative Law at TLS, I have been active in many committees, as programme director and as head of department. In all of those roles I have witnessed how important the University Council is.

 The governance structure of Dutch higher education is sophisticated, but it will always be up to the campus community to make the most of it. I think it is important that non-Dutch and non-Dutch speaking colleages are represented, ideally ‘in’, but in any case ‘by’ the medezeggenschap councils. This was my main motivation when I helped establish TiU International several years ago. Our university combines a strong regional and national presence with global activities in education and research. This combination is what makes Tilburg University such a stimulating place to learn and work, but it also carries its own challenges. The medezeggenschap helps our University Board navigate this, in a way that can count on the support of the campus community. I would very much welcome the opportunity to contribute to the work of the University Council, building on my managerial and international experience, my knowledge of our institution and its primary processes and my legal background.

Twitter: @annemeuwese
Website: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/staff/anne-meuwese

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5. Ittai Shacham

Since joining TiSEM in 2015, first as a Research Master then as a PhD, improving the well-being and success of PhD candidates has been an important goal of mine. To achieve this, I have served on the Faculty Council of TiSEM. I now hope to continue my efforts on the University Council for TiU-International.

Together with TiU-International, I will work to ensure that PhD candidates at Tilburg University have all the resources, support, and facilities to conduct top research, perform excellent teaching and prosper in their career choice after the PhD. In these turbulent and uncertain times, I aim to address the evolving needs of the PhD candidates to ensure the continuing success of Tilburg University’s PhDs candidates.

Website: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/staff/i-shacham                                                                                                                                                                                                           back to top

6. Ank Habraken

I joined Tilburg University (TiSEM) in 2002 and I started at the CentER Graduate School in 2003 when we were responsible for all administrative tasks regarding the Research Master and the PhD phase. Since the re-organization at TiU, I work at the Research Support Team of TiSEM and I am graduate officer for PhD candidates only and I hope to make their lives as PhD candidates at our school a bit easier.

Lately I have been closely involved in setting up the new Professional PhD Program at TiSEM and the introduction of Hora Finita (the online PhD registration system). As Graduate Officer, I work closely together with the PhD candidates, faculty members of TiSEM, the TiSEM Management Team, the Doctorate Board and my fellow Graduate Officers at TiSEM and the other schools. Therefor I know the importance of working together and especially listening to each other on all levels.

I support TiU International as I think we can all benefit from working together on all levels, and learn from each other’s, good and bad, experiences. I also encourage including these levels in important decision-making processes. Although good initiatives have been set up lately (like the PhD psychologist), I think we can do more to make our lives at Tilburg University easier and less bureaucratic.

Website: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/staff/a-habraken                                                                                                                                                                                                            back to top

7. Jan Potters

Tilburg University is close to my heart. In 1979 I started as a student at what was then called Katholieke Hogeschool Tilburg. Since 1995 I have been employed at TiU, first as an assistant professor and later as a full professor. During these four decades, TiU has changed a lot (as did I). Most of the changes of TiU have been for the better (for myself I am not so sure). TiU has become more open and internationally oriented, and it has managed to significantly improve its education and research. To me it is obvious that these developments go hand-in-hand; improvement requires an open attitude and an ambition to compete with the best international universities. Another requirement for improvement is that plans and policies are not imposed top down but that they originate from, and are supported by, the ‘work floor’. 

TiU is blessed with a professional and ambitious faculty and staff, as well as a motivated student body. Faculty, staff and students should be stimulated and supported to develop their ideas and to achieve their aspirations. I believe that a solid representation of TiU International in the University Council is one of the best guarantees for this to happen.

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/jjmpotters/                                                                                                                                                                                                            back to top

8. Stephanie Staats

I want this organization and its employees to thrive and succeed. And to make this happen, or in some cases to keep this up, we need to make a continuous effort. An effort to collaborate more with each other (beyond department and School borders), have a long term outlook on the future  of the university, look beyond the obvious, respect our institutions’ history, and connect with all layers of the institute to represent their interests and ideas in the University Council.

But also by making better use of the individual potential of every staff member and stimulating a culture in which a personal and flexible approach by a staff member is not discouraged by bureaucracy, administrative hurdles and workload.

I think that a strong representation of TiU International in the University Council can contribute to his effort!

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/smcstaats/
Website: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/staff/s-m-c-staats

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9. Marco Da Rin

I am an Associate Professor of Finance at TiSEM, and previously held positions at the London School of Economics, Bocconi University (Milano, Italy), at the University of Torino and the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona. My research focuses on entrepreneurial finance, venture capital, and public policy for entrepreneurship. I wrote academic articles that have been published in leading scholarly journals, and I have just published a textbook on Entrepreneurial Finance for Oxford University Press.

I am a founding member of TiU International, and stand for the idea that Tilburg strives to be the Netherland’s leading academic institution in social sciences. The university is home to students, faculty, and staff of diverse backgrounds, who pursue excellence in their activities and are open to the world as their stage. I envision Tilburg as a university where academics, including PhDs, and support staff work closely together to deliver world-class education and research projects. I believe in fact-based administration, in integrity, and in good governance rules as the necessary bases for institutional success.

Website: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/staff/marco-darin 

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10. Korine Bor

I joined Tilburg University in 2009 and currently work as Coordinator Business Operations at TiSEM’s dept. of Econometrics & Operations Research

Prior experience in the TiSEM Faculty Council and now 4 years as University council member gave me the opportunity to critically follow the decision making process. As a member of the Committee of Finance & Infrastructure (CFI), I closely monitor how our university spends money, confirm or reject budget requests, have a deciding vote on the annual budget, vote on proposed investments and/or renovations of our campus as well as investments in innovative infrastructure facilities such as IT. 

Examples of important decisions made by the CFI are: a cap on the current renovation of Koopmans Building, and the Real Estate Strategy Vision 2018 – 2025 that was put on hold for evaluation and later adjusted allowing for more flexibility.

As support staff I am very much aware of how the growth of our university has increased our workload and the importance of an optimal working environment; staff looking for career advancement should be given every opportunity to grow and not be kept from moving forward by budgetary constraints. 

I know our party will remain vigilant and stands behind our staff at all times.

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