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New Faculty Board: a focus on community

The Executive Board of Leiden University has appointed the new Board for the Faculty of Archaeology. Read more about their plans for the future of the Faculty.

Outgoing Dean Corinne Hofman

 At the Dean's Lecture of May 3, outgoing Dean Corinne Hofman presented the new board:

  • Dean prof.dr. Jan Kolen (Portfolio Education)
  • Dr. Bleda Düring (Portfolio Research)
  • Drs. Suzy Sirks-Bong Msc. (Executive Dean)
  • Rory Granleese (Student Assessor)

The new board is appointed per September 2018. For this article, we asked the Board members about their plans for the Faculty.

Jan Kolen: striving for a strong community

“When I returned to Leiden five years ago, I was impressed by the Faculty of Archaeology - by its size and diversity, the quality of its research, the international staff and student population, and the fantastic building and facilities (I prefer to avoid expressions like “excellent”, although the term is certainly justified here). This may seem almost self-evident to us, but it is really unique at an international scale and certainly contributes to our international and interdisciplinary reputation.

A faculty so diverse, that has grown so fast over the past decade, also faces the challenge of preserving its community feeling. The history of archaeology - and of other academic disciplines - has taught us that innovations and academic success prosper within groups of positive minds, who are sincerely interested in each other’s work and have common goals.”

Collective investment

“Apart from scientific success, a strong community feeling also keeps the working environment comfortable and safe. This is something that we should all strive for and I believe that this asks for a collective investment.

Students deserve a stimulating environment – not so much because they are our “clients” but because they are the future of our discipline. The young staff members also deserve this, because they are expected to make their own innovative contribution to the fields of archaeology, science, heritage and museum studies, and need the Faculty as a sustainable basis in order to achieve this.

In this process, our senior staff members and professors are essential for coaching, guiding and supporting the new generation, both in research and education. In this way, we can create an even better intellectual and social climate for our interdisciplinary community in the future, and I am proud to be part of this project.”

Bleda Düring: adapting and developing

“Over the past decades the Faculty of Archaeology has transformed into one of the key academic centres for the study and research of archaeology globally, as is manifested in how well we do in international rankings. Our successes in obtaining research funding and our ability to attract high quality staff, researchers, and students from the Netherlands and beyond to our Faculty of Archaeology have been of crucial importance in this development.

Increasingly, however, the funding resources upon which our successes have been built are gradually drying up, with new regulations put in place by funders, and stiff competition for scarce research funds. These developments challenge us to adapt our modus operandi and to think creatively how we can maintain the significant level of research, education, and outreach that we have achieved so far, and to develop new avenues for future archaeologies. Together with the staff at the Faculty of Archaeology, I look forward to developing answers to these challenges and I have great confidence in the capacities of our community to address the issues that will arise.”

Suzy Sirks-Bong: lasting success by a good personnel policy

“The Faculty of Archaeology is a pearl in the crown of Leiden University. As Executive Dean, it is my ambition to care for an inspiring and robust environment in which all members of the community, staff, students and guests, feel at home and are able to get the best out of themselves. By doing this, we can continue to keep the Faculty’s education and research at its present high international level. It is my task to keep the Faculty financially healthy, but, more importantly, to keep a close eye out for the personnel. A good personnel policy is a necessary requirement to maintain the successful position of the Faculty in the future.

Obviously, I will not do this alone, but in a team with my colleagues. I am proud to be a member of this community and I look forward to further cooperation.”

Rory Granleese: learning and growing together

“I’m aiming to enhance the communication between the various faculty organs, the staff and the students. Transparency and an established two-way channel of information are of vital importance in an environment wherein people are expected to learn and grow together.

In addition to this, I’ll be working closely with my fellow students and the study-association (L.A.S. Terra) in order to maintain and improve the social/academic atmosphere for all students of archaeology. Should you have any questions or advice regarding these (or any other) topics, please feel free to give me a shout."

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