A university is as good as its students, academics and support staffers. All should be given the opportunity to advance themselves and shine. HR policy should become pro-active in nurturing and retaining those core assets and be fairly implemented throughout the university. An open corporate culture should favor responsibility and make no place for bullying. Work overload, unmanageable stress or burn-out, affecting academics, support staffers or PhD students, should be systematically prevented, identified, and addressed without waiting for events to unfold.
TiU should excel in education and research at the international level. This requires an international perspective and a benchmarking of our practices to those of our competitors in Europe, the US, and Asia. This also requires that decision-making focusses on both core outputs without oscillating between giving priority to one and then priority to the other. Teaching quality should take the form of on-demand practical training as opposed to formalistic or bureaucratic monitoring of teachers. For teaching, research, and administration, mentoring possibilities by experienced and successful seniors should be effectively developed.
A university, by its very name, can only be international at heart. Academics, staffers, and students must find in Tilburg University (TiU) a welcoming and vibrant environment irrespective of their origin, nationality or gender. A lot still needs to be done, in particular to engage international students into student life and representation bodies or to enable employees to experience best practices at top universities abroad through sabbaticals, exchanges or job shadowing.
A university is here for the long term and decision-making should focus on it! Too many decisions are taken without a proper assessment of their likely consequences or identification of what top universities actually do. We want the management to benchmark the university against international best practices and make decisions on the basis of reliable evidence. Our internal organization (including the outcome of the BEST operation) should be periodically assessed and adjusted to avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and organize clear and efficient support. Participation bodies should be actively set-up and associated to decision-making. Only engaged leadership can inspire engaged staff, academics and support staff.