15 april 20081Herhaling titel van presentatie University governance and autonomy September 2008 PRIUM site visit Rosette S’Jegers Vice rector for Education.
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Presentation on theme: "15 april 20081Herhaling titel van presentatie University governance and autonomy September 2008 PRIUM site visit Rosette S’Jegers Vice rector for Education."— Presentation transcript:
15 april 20081Herhaling titel van presentatie University governance and autonomy September 2008 PRIUM site visit Rosette S’Jegers Vice rector for Education
Governance mechanisms Originally Vrije Universiteit Brussel was characterised by a dual model: decentralised academic decisionmaking at the level of 8 faculties, fully responsible for education and research centralised administrative services (finance, human resources, registration, etc...) steered by sub-committees of the University Board
Disadvantages of decentralised approach appear: As university expands towards 9000 students, 1600 members of academic personnel and 130 ba and ma programs As stronger competition from other educational networks (institutes for higher education / hogescholen) is building up in Brussels As political impact of Brussels is weakening in Belgium
SWOT analysis of the mid-90’s shows a number of internal weaknesses Absence of performance indicators and evaluation tools Variability of teaching quality Lack of consistency in external and internal communication Need for greater transparency and effectiveness in decision making Corporate governance dominated by a variety of committee activities resulting in never ending discussions
1995 up till today Reforms towards a stronger governance and steering power: Important progress at the level of quality assessment of academic programs and academic staff (internal + external evaluation tools) Competitive organisation of research funding and introduction of research valorisation schemes Central academic steering potential reinforced by central services for education, research and student-affairs (headed by vice- rectors) Central administrative services headed by director general
Administrative structures RECTOR University Board Rectoral College Governing College ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Central academic services headed by Rector Rector’s office Vice-rector for education’s office Vice-rector for research’s office Vice-rector for student affairs’ office Central administrative services headed by director general Director general’s office Facility management Personnel administration Technical support Financial administration Budget and corporate finance ICT Faculties headed by deans Autonomous entities University hospital Vesalius College
Governance bodies Governance decisions University Board Strategy Governing College Current affairs Governance Rector Governance preparation Academic College Rector + director rectorate / vice rector education + head of education administration / vice rector research + head of research administration / vice rector student affairs + head of student administration Rectoral College Administrative College Director general / director finance / director personnel / director ICT Board of Deans Governance support Senate (academic promotion) Educational council Research council Student council
Main pitfalls for implementing change Composition of university board and need for internal consensus / support Length of decision procedures and lack of clear cut delegation between governance bodies and councils/committees Need for more efficient “cohabitation” between rectoral services and top administration
Composition of University Board Members Rector and vice-rectors 8 deans 8 representatives academic staff 8 representatives assistant academic staff 1 representative central academic staff 4 representatives administrative and technical staff 8 students 1 alumnus 6 external members including the President of the Board Consultants Administrative directors
Length of procedures Example : change in central exam rules First draft from vice rector’s office submitted to: Curriculum committee (academic representatives from 8 faculties) supporting the Education Council discussions at faculty level : 8 faculty boards + interfaculty administration committee adapted draft submitted to curriculum committee Board of Deans Education Council University Board Estimated length of procedure : 1 year!
Cohabitation between rectorate and top administration Slow decision making leads to slow implementation
Cohabitation between rectorate and top administration (bis) Stakeholder conflicts : students versus staff versus administration Lack of external benchmarks and best practices (as well from the education sector as from other business) Passive attitude towards funding
Governance challenges in context of change - decision levels and organisational structure (empowerment of departments versus centralisation) - scale versus specialisation - cooperation versus competition - attraction and motivation of human resources