The opening of the primary schools this week is a cautious start to the relaxation of the Dutch intelligent lockdown. Eventually the university will reopen for us. Dean Paul Wouters talks to us about what boardmembers, in this phase of redesign, are up against.
Dear colleagues and students,
The past few days we have laid the foundations for a new phase in the Corona crisis. In daily life this is not noticeable yet, because we all still work at home as much as possible. But we can be optimistic: it is certain that at some point this pandemic will be over. In the run-up to that, we can make returning back to the faculty bit by bit possible. Even if it takes a long time - and that depends on the speed with which the pandemic is reduced - we will be able to experience live academic life more and more in the coming period. So how are we going to do that?
We want to maintain our buildings in Leiden and The Hague as crucial meeting places where staff and students can inspire each other and also find emotional support. In doing so, we will continue to make use of the possibilities of digital communication and teaching methods. In short: how can we build a robust infrastructure in which we can combine on campus and online flexibly and creatively?
The bottom line is that we will redesign our FSW. This is a tough job in which we, as Faculty Board, can use all the creativity of our students and staff, but we also want to provide all the support our lecturers, researchers and students need in return. We are now addressing both short-term and long-term questions.
Which research can be resumed the earliest within the limitations of the national Corona policy? Who should be given access to the building (as soon as this is allowed again) for online education and for small workgroups (at least not for large lectures for the time being)? How are we going to relieve lecturers so that they can concentrate on the content in the new academic year and don't have to think about Kaltura's technique? How are we going to give our first year students a warm welcome in tutor groups, on campus and online? How do we make top quality education possible in new settings? How do we set up the testing so that students and lecturers both feel comfortable with it? What role can our students play not only as consumers but also as creative people, creators of knowledge and assistants to lecturers and each other? And what budgets and shifts in our budgets are needed to make all this happen?
The Faculty Board has already formulated a series of preliminary answers to these questions over the past few days. We will fine-tune these in the coming days and weeks together with institute boards, research leaders, education and programme directors, assessors and study associations.
Admittedly, that is quite a job, but an interesting one: reinventing the FSW. Do you want to brainstorm with us? Send me an e-mail and we'll find you a group that you can contribute ideas to. Or contact one of your lecturers or your supervisor. All creativity is welcome!
Dean Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences