On December seventh, the second Faculty Council meeting of this year took place. Some highlights:

General

  • As of December, prof. dr. Paul Post will be replaced as Vice-dean of research by prof. dr. Marc Swerts.
  • Student Party Dante submitted an initiative proposal in which we asked for a change in the faculty regulations to make it possible to appoint a chairman for the Faculty Council from outside TSH. The Faculty Board did some little changes in the faculty regulations as well. All the changes will be carried through.
  • The Faculty Board introduced the new strategic plan of TSH 2018-2021. The Faculty Council agreed with this, but asked some questions. Interesting to know: Progress is made in the development of the ‘New Media Design’-labs.
  • The Faculty Council got insight into the student numbers of October. The growth is quite stable for most of the Bachelor and Master programs, except for Communication and Information Sciences (Bachelor and Master) and Liberal Arts and Sciences (Bachelor), of which the student numbers are increasing rapidly.
  • Regarding the Westerdijk program (for more women in high positions in universities) Marjolijn Antheunis is appointed as Full Professor.
  • Regarding the Philip Eijlander program (like the Westerdijk program) there will be three vacancies soon. One vacancy for a female Full Professor with regard to simulations at DCA, one vacancy for a female Full Professor with regard to digital health communication at DCC and one vacancy for a female Associate Professor regarding digitalization and culture at DCU. It will be open vacancies, which means that both employees from the university and people from outside Tilburg University are able to apply.

Education

  • Student Party Dante asked a question about the minor courses of Online Culture, that are spread over two semesters, making it almost impossible for Online Culture students to follow minor courses at another university in the Netherlands or in a foreign country without study delay. The program Director of Online Culture and Vice-dean of education stated that they are willing to make the possibilities for minor courses somewhere else more flexible. That means, the second semester of the third year will become the ‘mobility window’, a semester in which it is possible to follow minor courses elsewhere as of September 2018. It is then possible to write your thesis in the first semester of the third year to be able to go study abroad in the second semester of that year. Student Party Dante will keep a close eye on this development. The Vice-dean of education and the Head of the Education and Research Support Team stated that they are thinking about reshaping the program of Communication and Information Sciences regarding this mobility window as well.
  • Student Party Dante asked a question about the study advisors as well, because a lot of students complained about the accessibility of these study advisors. We wanted to know what the cause of this inaccessibility was and if measures are taken to improve the situation. The head of the Education and Research Support Team, Loes Jongen, responded that not all study advisors acknowledge this situation. Some study advisors identified themselves in this situation, in particular at the beginning of this academic year. Two main reasons were large changes in educational programs and changes is staff positions within the team of study advisors. The measures that will be taken are: more pro-active communication towards students, an ‘open office’ moment in which students can come in without an appointment and possibly extra staff in 2018.
  • The Faculty Council gave positive advice regarding the change of the CROHO-label of the research master Language and Communication that is offered in collaboration with Radboud University. In the future, the program will be called Linguistics and Communication Sciences.
  • The Faculty Council got an update on the progress of the separation of Data Science and the track CSAI from Communication and Information Sciences. When Data Science becomes an independent Master program, the name will change into Data Science & Society. The accreditation for this is in it’s final stage. If all goes well, it will be an independent program as of September 2018. The track CSAI is in an earlier stage. Plans are written for this at the moment. Student Party Dante asked a question about the when students will be informed about these developments. Loes Jongen stated that this will start at the beginning of 2018.
  • Regarding the track CSAI, the Faculty Council got a little update about the Spoorzone. Interesting to know: as of January first, the mind-labs will be usable in the Spoorzone; a project called VIBE has started with companies from outside the university; in 2019, a new building is built of which the university will rent a part for education and research.

Update Faculty Council October: During this Faculty Council, the council did not yet give advice on the new budget plans, because the documents were available only a few days before the council meeting. Therefore, some council members felt they did not have the opportunity to fully understand the budget plans. In the time between the two Faculty Councils, the council was able to consult a financial professional. Finally, the council gave positive advice on the new budget plans, with the remark that Student Party Dante thinks it is important to have enough financial space to be able to respond to increasing student numbers in time.