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University governance and autonomy September 2008 PRIUM site visit Rosette S’Jegers Vice rector for Education
Governance mechanisms <ul><li>Originally Vrije Universiteit Brussel was characterised by a dual model: </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Disadvantages of decentralised approach appear: <ul><li>As university expands towards 9000 students, 1600 members of acade...
SWOT analysis of the mid-90’s shows a number of internal weaknesses <ul><li>Absence of performance indicators and evaluati...
1995    up till today <ul><li>Reforms towards a stronger governance and steering power: </li></ul><ul><li>Important progr...
Administrative structures <ul><li>RECTOR  University Board  </li></ul><ul><li>Rectoral College  Governing College </li></u...
Governance bodies Governance Rector Governance preparation Academic College Rector + director rectorate / vice rector educ...
Main pitfalls for implementing change <ul><li>Composition of university board and need for internal consensus / support </...
Composition of University Board <ul><li>Members </li></ul><ul><li>Rector and vice-rectors </li></ul><ul><li>8 deans </li><...
Length of procedures <ul><li>Example  : change in central exam rules </li></ul><ul><li>First draft from vice rector’s offi...
Cohabitation between rectorate and top administration <ul><li>Slow decision making leads to slow implementation </li></ul>
Implementation issues
Cohabitation between rectorate and top administration (bis)   <ul><li>Stakeholder conflicts : students versus staff versus...
Change projects reality...
Governance challenges in context of change - decision levels and organisational      structure (empowerment of departments...
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Prium Brussels 0809 University Governance

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University governance and autonomy, by Rosette S’Jegers, Vice rector for Education

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Transcript of "Prium Brussels 0809 University Governance"

  1. 1. University governance and autonomy September 2008 PRIUM site visit Rosette S’Jegers Vice rector for Education
  2. 2. Governance mechanisms <ul><li>Originally Vrije Universiteit Brussel was characterised by a dual model: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>decentralised academic decisionmaking at the level of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>8 faculties, fully responsible for education and research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>centralised administrative services (finance, human resources, registration, etc...) steered by sub-committees of the University Board </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Disadvantages of decentralised approach appear: <ul><li>As university expands towards 9000 students, 1600 members of academic personnel and 130 ba and ma programs </li></ul><ul><li>As stronger competition from other educational networks (institutes for higher education / hogescholen) is building up in Brussels </li></ul><ul><li>As political impact of Brussels is weakening in Belgium </li></ul>
  4. 4. SWOT analysis of the mid-90’s shows a number of internal weaknesses <ul><li>Absence of performance indicators and evaluation tools </li></ul><ul><li>Variability of teaching quality </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of consistency in external and internal communication </li></ul><ul><li>Need for greater transparency and effectiveness in decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate governance dominated by a variety of committee activities resulting in never ending discussions </li></ul>
  5. 5. 1995  up till today <ul><li>Reforms towards a stronger governance and steering power: </li></ul><ul><li>Important progress at the level of quality assessment of academic programs and academic staff (internal + external evaluation tools) </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive organisation of research funding and introduction of research valorisation schemes </li></ul><ul><li>Central academic steering potential reinforced by central services for education, research and student-affairs (headed by vice-rectors) </li></ul><ul><li>Central administrative services headed by director general </li></ul>
  6. 6. Administrative structures <ul><li>RECTOR University Board </li></ul><ul><li>Rectoral College Governing College </li></ul><ul><li>------------------------------------------------------------------------------- </li></ul><ul><li>Central academic services headed by Rector </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rector’s office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vice-rector for education’s office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vice-rector for research’s office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vice-rector for student affairs’ office </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Central administrative services headed by director general </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Director general’s office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facility management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personnel administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget and corporate finance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ICT </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Faculties headed by deans </li></ul><ul><li>Autonomous entities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>University hospital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vesalius College </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Governance bodies 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 Governance decisions University Board  Strategy Governing College  Current affairs
  8. 8. Main pitfalls for implementing change <ul><li>Composition of university board and need for internal consensus / support </li></ul><ul><li>Length of decision procedures and lack of clear cut delegation between governance bodies and councils/committees </li></ul><ul><li>Need for more efficient “cohabitation” between rectoral services and top administration </li></ul>
  9. 9. Composition of University Board <ul><li>Members </li></ul><ul><li>Rector and vice-rectors </li></ul><ul><li>8 deans </li></ul><ul><li>8 representatives academic staff </li></ul><ul><li>8 representatives assistant academic staff </li></ul><ul><li>1 representative central academic staff </li></ul><ul><li>4 representatives administrative and technical staff </li></ul><ul><li>8 students </li></ul><ul><li>1 alumnus </li></ul><ul><li>6 external members including the President of the Board </li></ul><ul><li>Consultants </li></ul><ul><li>Administrative directors </li></ul>
  10. 10. Length of procedures <ul><li>Example : change in central exam rules </li></ul><ul><li>First draft from vice rector’s office submitted to: </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum committee (academic representatives from 8 faculties) supporting the Education Council </li></ul><ul><li> discussions at faculty level : 8 faculty boards + interfaculty administration committee </li></ul><ul><li> adapted draft submitted to curriculum committee </li></ul><ul><li> Board of Deans </li></ul><ul><li> Education Council </li></ul><ul><li> University Board </li></ul><ul><li>Estimated length of procedure :  1 year! </li></ul>
  11. 11. Cohabitation between rectorate and top administration <ul><li>Slow decision making leads to slow implementation </li></ul>
  12. 12. Implementation issues
  13. 13. Cohabitation between rectorate and top administration (bis) <ul><li>Stakeholder conflicts : students versus staff versus administration </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of external benchmarks and best practices (as well from the education sector as from other business) </li></ul><ul><li>Passive attitude towards funding </li></ul>
  14. 14. Change projects reality...
  15. 15. 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
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