From 15 to 23 May, RSM, ESPhil and Professional Services employees can vote for the University Council. The University Council consists of twelve students and twelve employees. Elections for the two groups are different: students are elected by a general election, while for employees, voting is done per department or faculty. Employees are also elected once every two years, students every year.

Seven seats already filled

At RSM, employees can choose between Katarzyana Lasak and Richard Brunnquell de Stachelski. ESPhil can look forward to an interesting election race between Max Wagenaar, who has been on the council for several years, and former Socialist Party MP and current professor of Erasmian Values Ronald van Raak.

In Professional Services, two seats are up for grabs among three candidates. Current council members Jaap Cornelese and Sebastiaan Kamp have received competition from Pedro van Gessel.

At the ESE (Albert Wagelmans), Erasmus MC (Natascha Kraal), ESHPM (Ernst Hulst), ESL (Emese van Bóné), ESSB (Linda Dekker), ESHCC (Aleid Fokkema) and ISS (Rosita Boedhai-Jansen), there were exactly the same number of candidates as seats, these candidates were therefore automatically elected. At Erasmus University College, the seat is still vacant.

As an employee, you can cast your vote at between Monday 15 May and Tuesday 23 May, 23:59.

Below, the candidates for RSM, ESPhil and Professional Services present themselves.

RSM: Richard Brunnquell de Stachelski

01. RSM Richard Brunnquell de Stachelski foto
Image credit: Own photo

Not only will this role provide me with the power to safeguard my colleagues’ interests, but also allow me to participate in the University’s day-to-day decisions surrounding actions and policies that have an incalculable impact both upon RSM and the entire University. These are the two main drivers for my candidacy to the University Council.

On that note, I see the immense value of having an active role in the University’s political arena, where policy decisions and regulations, affecting my faculty and its peers, respective employees, and not to mention, students take place.

It is vital to steer decisions in the right direction, considering d topics which deserve our full attention and deepest concerns, such as diversity, equality, accessibility, societal impact, and sustainability. As a distinguished research University, it is our responsibility to act in response to these challenges in the most swift and effective manner, acting on behalf of academia but also civil society.

My wish as candidate is to represent and defend my own views, but also the ones of my colleagues. My commitment is to fight for all of us, especially those who cannot, and always aim at achieving the common good. This is a challenge that I believe I am capable of and am willing to take.

With the above-mentioned, I present my candidacy to join the University Council. I look forward to the future tasks attributed to this role, which I deem are of paramount importance to all of us.

RSM: Katarzyna Lasak

02. RSM Katarzyana Lasak foto
Image credit: Own photo

My name is Katarzyna (Kasia) Lasak. I am Polish and I live in the Netherlands for almost 12 years.

I work as a Lecturer in Statistics at the Department of Technology and Operations Management, RSM.

I have a PhD in Econometrics from University Autonoma de Barcelona in Spain. I have worked at 7 universities in 4 different countries, and I would like to help University Council with my experience and expertise.

I trust we create reality we live and work in. For me the biggest resource is a human, their time combined with skills. Therefore, I stand for quality of education, working efficiency and friendly environment.

My passions are quantitative subjects, languages, learning and discovering new things, bicycle touring and hiking in the flat land.

I speak English, Dutch, Spanish, Polish and Russian. Hope to talk to you soon!

ESPhil: Max Wagenaar

01. ESPhil Max Wagenaar foto
Image credit: Own photo

During past two years I have represented the Erasmus School of Philosophy in the University Council of the EUR. Over the course of this period, I have had a focus on Strategy, Convergence, Leadership development, Educational Vision, Confidential matters, and many more upcoming big and small matters, such as the Occupy Protests, the revision of the R&D cycle and the Smarter Academic Year. As a so called ‘critical friend’, or at least a reasonably friendly critic, I have done my best to support the EUR in the transitions it is making, whilst staying true to the values and interests of my philosophy colleagues in the best way I can. As the governing processes of our university move at a modest pace and since many changes happen over multiple years, it strengthens the position of the council – and thus the academic community – when at least a part of its members stay on for more than one term. This need for continuity is a big part of the reason why I am willing and motivated to continue onwards for the course of the next two years.

ESPhil: Ronald van Raak

02. ESPhil Ronald van Raak foto
Image credit: Own photo

Students, lecturers, researchers and professional services staff are busy with their own studies and work, but together we also form a community at EUR. What this university community is, how we organize it – and how we treat each other, is something every Erasmian should be able to talk and think about. As far as I am concerned, the University Council is a place where ideas and opinions come together and the Erasmian community takes shape.

My name is Ronald van Raak and I am professor of Erasmian Values at Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil). Representing peoples interests I find a valuable and honorable task. This was also one of the reasons why I have been a member of the Dutch House of Representatives for 15 years. Policies can have the best intentions, but may turn out differently – and have major consequences. The University Council is a place to discuss those policies and these consequences.

Everyone makes mistakes and every organization will do so as well. The strength of our university is evident in the way we deal with those mistakes. By making different voices and opinions heard. As a member of the University Council, I want to make sure that this polyphony of sounds is heard. To promote that Erasmus University is an open and inviting community, to which every Erasmian can contribute.

PRO: Jaap Cornelese

01. PRO Jaap Cornelese
Image credit: Own photo

In October 2015 I joined the staff of the Erasmus University as Manager Project Management & Consultancy at the former IT-Development department. Since January 2022 I hold a position of Policy Advisor IT for the CIO / Director IT of EDIS.

In both of these positions I have been intensely involved in Professional Services wide developments and projects, both organizational as well as more technical. Of course this extends to developments in faculties as well. A temporary one year assignment as interim manager at Marketing & Communications has enabled me to develop an even more overarching view.

All of this has provided me with a broad and wide perspective on issues and developments at our university.

Since 2021, on behalf of my colleagues, I offer my insights into and knowledge of the workings of the EUR as a member of the Service Council Professional Services.

Also since September 2022, joining the University Council as a replacement for a colleague that went into retirement, I had the honor to represent the Staff of PRO-Services in the University Council.

I would very much like to continue my representative tasks as a member of the University Council in the upcoming two years.

PRO: Pedro van Gessel

02. PRO Pedro van Gessel – Copy
Image credit: Own photo

I believe in our Erasmian values. That is what makes EUR unique. Being socially engaged, critical and connecting is fundamental. They are also my personal values. For me, that means that everyone should feel free to say those things he or she wants or thinks, in order to engage in honest and open debate with each other, and to do so without the fear of being ‘cancelled’. Everyone has that freedom! And so should they, as long as views are not discriminatory or threatening and do not require criminal prosecution. I notice in today’s social debate that this freedom is not always a given. I believe that together we must ensure that these values are always guarded within our university.

If I am elected as a member of the personnel delegation of the University Council, I will fight for, among other things, a decrease in temporary employment contracts and for measures to reduce the pressure of work in higher education, especially, of course, the pressure of work at our institution. Funding per student from the state has been on a downward trend for years. This has undoubtedly had a negative impact on workload for a long time. And that has a limit. I truly believe that the strain is now over. As far as I’m concerned, additional tasks imposed from The Hague should also be provided with additional FTEs and funding by The Hague. That is fair, and does justice to our significance and social impact as EUR.

I also intend, within the limits of privacy legislation, to keep in touch with our ombuds officer to keep abreast of what is going on and where the University Council could possibly play a role. I am thinking especially of a safe working and study environment. That is important for everyone who works or studies on campus. And that broad interest, that’s what I stand for!

Although I believe that EUR is a pleasant institution to work for, there is of course always room for improvement.

PRO: Sebastiaan Kamp

03. PRO Sebastiaan Kamp1
Image credit: Own photo

During the past years I’ve greatly enjoyed being part of the University Council, representing the specific interests of support staff in addition (or part of) contributions to more general topics like work pressure, blended working, wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, and staff and student participation. Quite often this comes down to the basic questions ‘are we doing the right things as a university?’, ‘does this make sense?’, ‘can staff and students understand this?’, ‘do we have time / money for this?’, but also are the rights of participatory bodies properly guaranteed? This last question gets more and more important in projects like Convergence, LDE and Cultural campus (EUR / Hogeschool Rotterdam / Codarts / WdK). I’m looking forward to another chance to contribute to those topics and representing employee interests.