Vote Casper

(Link naar de Nederlandse versie)

Staff members and students of the University of Groningen can cast their University Council vote between Monday 13 May (7AM) and Friday 17 May (5PM).

I’m a candidate for the Personnel Faction and hope to be re-elected such that I can devote myself on improving this university for two more years.

Short biography

I’m chair of Applied Statistics and Data Visualisation at the faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences. Furthermore, I write columns for, amongst others, the University Newspaper and the Volkskrant.

My research focusses on developing statistical models for dynamical processes, mainly applied in psychopathology and environmental psychology. Furthermore, I research how to improve statistical science communication.

Motivation and vision

In 2015 and 2017 I wrote similar blog posts, and not much has changed in my motivation and vision. This university is not a company, but an academy, and only focussing on quantitative targets such as rankings is not a good approach.

As highest elected body within the university, the Council’s task is to provide the Board of the University with advice. In the coming years, the main task of the new Board will be to prepare the strategic vision. For this, the following points cannot be emphasised enough:

  1. A better study/work climate
    In the past years, the main focus was on efficiency. More degrees, more papers, higher rankings, etc. The university lost track of how these targets were achieved. Stress, burn outs, structurally working more hours than required, etc., are becoming more and more common under both staff and students. This must change and should be the absolute #1 priority.
  2. Diversity
    It is evidentally clear that diversity in ideas is very desirable. Diversity in background is, however, also essential in order to keep public support (‘draagvlak‘). The inbalance in diversity is most prominently clear when you look at the gender balance at the University of Groningen – which is even worse than at many other Dutch universities – but also for other types of diversity this university require good policies to change things.
  3. Sustainability
    Two of the main research areas of the university are the energy transition and healthy ageing. However, the university itself still is far from sustainable. Here many improvements are possible. These do not have to be massive projects (such as the expensive Energy Academy building), simply nudging tools such as addressing staff members that fly too much can already be quite effective.

More information

If you want to know more about my ideas for this university, please contact me. You can do so by mail (c.j.albers@rug.nl), phone (+38239), Twitter (@caal), or live (room 231 in the Heymans building).

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