University Council Elections: Vote Casper

(This post also appeared in Dutch)

Between 18 and 25 May, elections for the University Council of the university will take place.

I’m candidate on behalf of the Personnel Faction (List 1, #6) and hope to receive enough votes such that I can devote myself for a better working climate at the university, in the same way as I did in the past four years in the faculty council of the faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences.

Below a slightly extended version of my motivation why I’m a candidate. In case you have any questions or comments, please leave them here, on Twitter, mail or in person.

Motivation and vision

The university is not a business, it is an academic institution. Academic thinking, not thinking in terms of profits, should therefore prevail in governance and personnel participation. A university is not a science factory where quality is measured fully through number of publications, impact factors, and – above all – whether you earn your own salary in grants. I’m convinced that governance with less focus on measurable performance indicators will lead, on average, to better research. Furthermore, it will certainly lead to a better working climate.

Academic education distinguishes itself from other types of (higher) education: not only do we expect students to gain skills and knowledge, we also expect them gain an academic attitude. For this, the university should create an atmosphere that invites students to develop themselves. Without academic freedom no academic research nor academic education. Finally, good teaching and research can only be obtained when this is coupled with good support.

The past four year I’ve been active in the Faculty Council of BSS, which I’ve chaired for two years. In that position, I’ve devoted myself to increase the work satisfaction of the personnel of the faculty. The council has written a report (79 pages) (in Dutch; link only available within BSS; in case you’re interested, drop me a mail) which was one of the reasons why the Faculty Board decided to adapt the Tenure Track-policy. Furthermore, I fight against governance based on silly numbers such as university rankings and publication indices. I support the RethinkRUG-movement.

Short Curriculum

Casper Albers is associate professor in statistics at the faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences. He obtained degrees in econometrics and statistics and defended his PhD-thesis in mathematical statistics in 2003, all in Groningen. After a PostDoc in bioinformatics and a four-year research position at The Open University (UK), he returned to Groningen in 2009 for his current position. The past four years he was a member of the Faculty Council, which he chaired for two years. His research focusses on the development of models for longitudinal data, and the applications of these models in environmental and clinical psychology.

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