Prof. B. and the CvB

Surely the most shocking thing about the chronicle of (self) deceit and abuse at the UvA Law Faculty described in the NRC yesterday, is that it’s not a shocking exception. The university’s hierarchical structure and the mechanisms it has in place for fighting abuse of power, sexism, marginalization and exclusion, have long been shown to […]

16 May 2019 – 17:59 | Comments (2)

A Clean Record – Fictions of Innocence in Academia

Natalie Scholz

Prologue I would love nothing more than to leave my past experiences in academia behind me. The problem is that my past experiences are other peoples’ painful present. With the echoes of these experiences still residing in my body, I cannot ignore any more what stays hidden beneath the surface in the world around me. […]

16 May 2019 – 14:05 | Comments (0)

Thinking beyond a Possible Strike

(Nederlandstalige versie hieronder) As WOinActie’s initiative gains ground, it is crucial to keep track of the range of structural problems in Dutch higher education which cannot be solved by larger budgets alone. Increased budget without meaningful cultural change, in and beyond the UvA, means very little. As long as we will continue operating within the […]

8 September 2018 – 10:53 | Comments (3)

Angst en vrijheid. Observaties uit de universiteit in tijden van marktradicalisme

Natalie Scholz

Ongeveer drieënhalf jaar geleden verspreidde een intensief gevoel van angst zich razendsnel op mijn faculteit. Mensen konden niet meer goed slapen en keken elkaar onzeker aan op de wandelgangen. In sommige ogen was zelfs iets van terreur te zien en soms fluisterde iemand “heb je het gehoord” of “heb je het ook gelezen”. Onze decaan […]

25 May 2018 – 12:31 | Comments (0)

‘Stop het zwijgen over VSNU-voorzitter Duisenberg’

Josef Früchtl

(artikel gepubliceerd in Het Parool) Politiek laat, zoals bekend, meerdere facetten zien. Ze kan vlegelachtig en dwaas zijn zoals op dit moment bij Donald Trump. Ofwel ontzettend saai zoals de zogeheten verkiezingsstrijd op dit moment in Duitsland. Ofwel zonder publieke discussie en oppositie plaatsvinden. Dit laatste verschijnsel is het gevaarlijkste voor een democratische maatschappij. Een […]

7 September 2017 – 12:38 | Comments (0)

History repeating itself [updated]

[three important updates below] At the UvA, history repeats itself as a series of farces. In the immediate aftermath of the Maagdenhuis occupation, in April 2015, nine UvA colleagues started a counter-petition to support the CvB against an earlier petition asking for the latter’s resignation. In contrast to the original petition, the counter petition was […]

26 November 2016 – 10:09 | Comments (1)

Open brief aan het CvB over faciliteren referendum

Beste leden van het CvB, Deze weken en maanden zijn cruciaal voor de toekomst van de UvA. De volledige academische gemeenschap heeft binnenkort de unieke kans om zich in een referendum uit te spreken over welke richting de universiteit zal inslaan. Daarmee wordt ten langen leste tegemoetgekomen aan de wens van de protesten van 2015 […]

22 November 2016 – 11:01 | Comments (0)


Yolande Jansen, René Hulst e.a.

Voorstel allocatie, door ad hoc ReThink werkgroep allocatie.   Zo beleidsarm mogelijk het beschikbare geld verdelen naar rato van studiepunten over de faculteiten, met een onderzoeksopslag per studiepunt. Neem aanbevelingen 1 t/m 5 over uit het COFH rapport over allocatie (p.32). Faculteiten of, liever en zoveel mogelijk, lagere niveaus, bepalen vervolgens zelf hoe ze de gelden […]

25 October 2016 – 12:09 | Comments (0)

UvA-HvA: One hand washes the other. Nicolaï’s reappointment as arrogance of power

Harriet Bergman, Enzo Rossi and Josef Früchtl

Like all other public institutions, Dutch universities are under democratic control, at least in theory. The minister of education appoints a Raad van Toezicht (RvT), and this council subsequently appoints a College van Bestuur (CvB). But with glorious predictability the members of these councils are drawn from an entrenched network of (ex-)politicians and businessmen that […]

17 May 2016 – 15:55 | Comments (0)

Downwards accountability

Guy Geltner, Sicco De Knecht, Enzo Rossi, Markus Stauff

(orginally published in Dutch bij Folia) Despite a welcome  increase in transparency and openness at the UvA/HvA, its stonewalling Supervisory Board (RvT) remains both a symptom of old-school politics and a cause for unrest well beyond Amsterdam. The situation at our institution exemplifies a problem common throughout the Dutch public sector: top management operates unconstrained […]

11 March 2016 – 13:18 | Comments (0)

Benoemingsprocedure College van Bestuur UvA-onwaardig

Sicco de Knecht, Josef Früchtl, Jan Teurlings

“Beste kandidaten voor het nieuwe College van Bestuur van de UvA” Laten we beginnen u te complimenteren met uw keus om te solliciteren bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Na het roerige jaar 2015 is de UvA zichzelf opnieuw aan het uitvinden, en het doet ons deugd te horen dat er kandidaten zijn die hieraan bij […]

12 January 2016 – 11:29 | Comments (0)

Wat gebeurt op onze faculteit?

Natalie Scholz

Speech op de demonstratie “Stop de bezuinigingen”, Amsterdam 25 november 2015, georganiseerd door Humanities Rally Wat gebeurt op onze faculteit? 8 miljoen bezuinigen om – zoals het heet –“duurzaam” te worden voor de toekomst. We hebben alles geprobeerd: Brieven, petities, demonstraties, bezettingen. Wat is het resultaat? Iets minder top-down retoriek. En iets meer tijd om […]

7 December 2015 – 16:11 | Comments (0)

ReThink the Strategy Agenda

Markus Stauff and Claire Weeda

On July 7, the Dutch Ministry for Education Culture and Science presented a new Strategy Agenda. This marks one of the major developments of the past months. The Strategy Agenda might change the debate about both the present and the future reality of universities in the Netherlands. Subtitled ‘The value(s) of knowledge’, it outlines the […]

16 November 2015 – 13:25 | Comments (0)

Commentaar op Green Paper over Blended Learning

Webmaster Account

Op 28 september 2015 publiceerde het CvB het advies van de werkgroep Onderwijsvernieuwing / Blended Learning en vroeg daarbij feedback van de academische gemeenschap. De Teaching Work Group van ReThink UvA schreef de volgende reactie. (Download het bestand hier in pdf vorm) De Green Paper verzamelt relevante inzichten in blended learning en IT-gebaseerd onderwijs, en […]

21 October 2015 – 16:16 | Comments (0)

Position Papers on Teaching and Research

Webmaster Account

(pdf versions in English and Dutch at the bottom of this post) ReThink UvA: Position Papers on Teaching and Research (English) September 2015 ReThink UvA proposes an urgent and fundamental transformation of the current organization of teaching and research. The following two position papers identify major problems and suggest solutions. They are meant as a starting point […]

17 September 2015 – 15:28 | Comments (0)

The “I think” of H.A.

Josef Früchtl

As everybody has realized, the beginning of the academic year 2015/16 has also brought some new contributions to the ongoing debate about the protest at the Dutch universities. Striking are, above all, the interviews of minister Jet Bussemaker and CvB member Hans Amman. For the moment – and I still need to breath in – […]

14 September 2015 – 18:57 | Comments (0)

Topbestuurders. Functieprofiel: overheidsbeleid kunnen verkopen als eigen inzicht en prestatie

Murat Aydemir

(een kortere versie van dit stuk is gepubliceerd in Folia, 3 september 2015) De hedendaagse academische bestuurscultuur kenmerkt zich door een opmerkelijke paradox. De dames en heren bestuurders worden veelal gezien, en zien zichzelf al te graag, als daadkrachtige, creatieve en visionaire leiders, voorzien van bijpassende functieprofielen, salarisschalen en onkostenvergoedingen. Die zienswijze blijft overeind zolang […]

13 September 2015 – 09:29 | Comments (1)

Over witte en blinde vlekken

Andrel Linnenbank

Dutch follows English summary. On white and blind spots A committee of the Royal Academy has investigated if there are any white spots (subjects that are not covered) in the landscape of Dutch research. Their conclusion is that there are no white spots and just a few areas that we need to look after because […]

4 August 2015 – 11:31 | Comments (0)

Student Evaluations are Statistical Nonsense (but Useful Disciplining Devices)

David Hollanders

In the last decade student evaluations have become the “Key Performance Indicator” (KPI) for university lecturers. Whatever merits student evaluations may have, their current use as a KPI is statistical nonsense. In statistics courses one learns that questionnaires are riddled with problems, mainly the following. First, there is the problem of non-response. If many people, […]

15 July 2015 – 12:10 | Comments (2)

The quandary of academia: to be Good or to be Successful?

Sanli Faez

The most illuminating lesson that I have learned from my PhD-supervisor was to differentiate between a successful scientist and a good scientist. The golden qualifier-duo of “good” vs. “successful” is not just for categorizing celebrated scientists. It can serve as an eye-opener for a much broader domain. It is like a magnifying lens with which […]

17 June 2015 – 13:14 | Comments (2)

Response to: “Can we, should we democratize the classroom?”

Simon Forde

My thoughts are based on the observation that education systems deeply reflect (whilst themselves enforcing) basic social norms of the society that is hosting the system. So, what might be these basic norms that you can see in the Netherlands?: a) Dutch people seem quite willing to undergo courses of technical training – in learning […]

14 June 2015 – 20:58 | Comments (1)

Why the debate in Tilburg is important to all the Dutch universities

Judith Schiks and Vino Avanesi

On June 11th, this Thursday, Tilburg University is organizing a debate with DNU Tilburg, the Executive Board, and some other (national) parties such as Hans Radder of Platform Reform Dutch Universities, Sarah Rijcke of Science in Transition, Ad Verbrugge of Better Education Netherlands, Arthur Kok of Rethink Tilburg and Eric van Damme of Researchers First, Tilburg. This article is about the […]

8 June 2015 – 20:11 | Comments (0)

Can We, Should We Democratize the Classroom?

G. Geltner

While committees gather and processes unfold across our campuses, many of us who are eager to practice what we’ve preached over the past year are asking: Can we, students and teachers at the UvA, democratize our classrooms, and should we? Can there really be such a thing as bottom-up higher education? After all, the university […]

4 June 2015 – 17:45 | Comments (6)

Een democratische universiteit? Dan ook het kastenstelsel op de schop!

Jaap Maat

Wat mij opvalt bij alle beweging in de academische wereld van de laatste tijd is dat er een enorme olifant roerloos in de huiskamer staat, waar Science in Transition, H.Nu, de Nieuwe Universiteit, Humanities Rally, Rethink UvA en de vele tientallen artikelen en blogs die ik heb gezien omheen schuifelen zonder hem ook maar op […]

31 May 2015 – 21:05 | Comments (2)

Towards a qualitative society – Personnel Management in management

Michael Weij

Dear fellow academics. In today’s society, we see management all around us with a qualitative approach. Not only universities, but society as a whole is run by politicians and managers who focus mainly on figures and statistics instead of quality, or values. We can transform that approach of those in the higher echelons in society, […]

18 May 2015 – 17:00 | Comments (1)

Oproep voor een nieuw maatschappelijk discourse

Michael Weij

Algemeen geaccepteerde waarheden zijn uit het het handelen, spreken en schrijven van mensen te halen, zo leerde de filosoof Michel Foucault ons. In een samenleving waarvan de oude ideologieën als het egalitaire ideaal hebben afgedaan, zullen academici moeten zorgen voor nieuwe. Aangezien een groep studenten en personeel van universiteiten bezig is tegen de gevestigde instituten […]

17 May 2015 – 22:28 | Comments (0)

On winner-takes-all academia

G. Geltner and Thomas Vaessens

[NB: a concise Dutch version of this piece appeared in Trouw, on 12 May 2015]   Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered. Julius Caesar’s famous tricolon captures a view, actively promoted by the Dutch Scientific Organization (NWO), of a stellar academic career. Veni, vidi, and vici are—strikingly, unbelievably almost—the titles of three […]

13 May 2015 – 13:30 | Comments (1)

On becoming reluctant bedfellows with transparency

Jan Teurlings

Transparency is a term that scores highly on the list of demands advanced by action groups DNU, ReThink UvA and Humanities Rally. And it isn’t hard to see why. The current academic context is characterized by a top-down management structured in such a way that managers are effectively unaccountable vis-à-vis the academic community they are supposed to serve. […]

29 April 2015 – 21:16 | Comments (2)

Neoliberal academia vs. the super-diverse society

Dr. Hilla Dayan, Amsterdam University College

Large metropolitan universities like to market themselves in the image of their urban environment. They think of themselves as great public institutions, open to all, inviting and lucrative to foreigners, cutting edge with 21st century buildings, institutional outlooks and visions. But the reality is that academia lost touch with what is going on around it. […]

27 April 2015 – 22:11 | Comments (2)

The Unifactory of Amsterdam

Renske van Bronswijk

Experiences in teaching and hour allocations In an informal conversation with a member of my management team, I recently received confirmation of what had long been suspected, but not admitted officially: the hours allocated for teaching and research are not based on any relevant information related to these activities, but rather on how much money […]

26 April 2015 – 15:13 | Comments (4)