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Participation in decision-making

If you are interested in joining the discussion on matters of education, teaching facilities and student interests, there are various ways in which you can take an active part at different levels of the organisation.

Student participation is represented at three levels within the UvA:

The UvA's Governance Model

The Faculty of Humanities' management structure follows the University of Amsterdam's governance model. This structure is quite complex. Where does responsibility lie? How do the various layers of the structure cooperate? Dean Fred Weerman comments on the faculty's governance model in several videos (in Dutch).

1. Introduction and governing principles

The UvA’s governance model is characterised by a separation of tasks and responsibilities, which are housed in various layers. It is moreover the case that it is not so much a board, but a person within his or her mandate, who takes a decision and is responsible for it.

2. The organisation chart

The UvA model leads to the faculty’s organisation chart consisting of multiple layers, too: the departments (in which the staff is housed), education (Bachelor’s and Master’s), research, and support.

3. Separated responsibilities

Within each layer, responsibility is limited to that specific layer. This means that a department chair, for instance, has a say about staff matters, but not on the content of education and research.

4. Meeting structures

The organisation maintains a principle in its meetings that entails decisions should be taken at an ‘as low as possible point’ in the organisational structure; if this is not possible, the decision is relayed to a higher level.

5. Integral management

Because of the separation in responsibilities, the Dean is the only person with integral responsibility in the management structure. The Dean consults with the programme directors of the College and the Graduate School of Humanities, the faculty’s research director, director of operational management, and a student member in the Faculty Board meetings.

6. Participation in decision-making

Formal participation in decision-making at the faculty level happens via the Faculty Programme Committee and a Faculty Student Council. At the central level, representative advisory bodies exist on behalf of both staff and students.

7. Programme Committees

At the programme level, the Programme Committee acts as the representative advisory body. These committees are made up of an equal number of student and staff members.

8. Decision-making in case of dispute

In some cases, the Board’s decision does not gain the approval of the representative advisory body, or a different type of conflict may arise. The faculty aims to solve these issues at an as low as possible point in the organisational structure.

9. Conclusion

Whatever your opinion may be on the governance model, it is important that all players within the model stay true to their roles and act based on their specific responsibilities.

If you have any questions after viewing these videos, please contact the Executive Secretary to the Board via the address linked below.