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Report from the Supervisory Authority


This is the second annual report from Radboud University’s Supervisory Board (hereafter ‘the board’). Since the demerger of Radboud University and Radboud university medical center that took effect in January 2021, the organisations have each been incorporated into their own foundations, and both have their own supervisory boards. The Supervisory Board of Radboud University has a statutory membership of five members.

This year, the board devoted a relatively large amount of time and attention to the university’s strategy (and the monitoring thereof), the theme of social safety, cyber and knowledge security, and filling vacancies on the board.

Although COVID-19 was not yet gone, teaching and research could, for the most part, be carried out again without impediments or restrictions. The university returned to ‘normal’ operations during the course of 2022. However, this did not mean that everything was back to business as usual. Above all, the wellbeing of students as well as staff was and is a major point of attention and concern.

Radboud University complies with the main points of the Code for Good Governance in Dutch Universities. However, some areas of concern have been identified. These involve the governance of collaborations and associated legal entities, as well as the evaluation of the contribution that various forms of cooperation make to the institution’s strategy, as set out in principle 8 of the Code. Attention will be paid to the relevant policy and guidelines in the near future. In addition, the introduction of shared Whistle-blower Regulations for all universities in 2023 (in line with 3.3. of the Code) was discussed in a national context. The issues did not affect the quality of management, supervision or participational bodies. 

Composition of the Supervisory Board

The membership composition of the Supervisory Board adheres to the independence requirement for supervisory authorities as stated in the Code for Good Governance. Based on its composition, duties and powers, the board is of the opinion that it is able to exercise independent supervision. The members of the board have no direct interests in the university. On 1 January 2022, the Supervisory Board consisted of:

  • M.W.L. (Merel) van Vroonhoven MBA, chair

  • Prof. V.A.J. (Valerie) Frissen

  • P.A. (Paul) Morshuis RC

  • Prof. M. (Mario) van Vliet, vice chair

With effect from 11 March 2022, V. Frissen fulfils the ‘linking pin’ position between the two Supervisory Boards, as stipulated in the Articles of Association. In addition to her membership on the Radboud University Supervisory Board, she is also a member of Radboud university medical center’s Supervisory Board. She took over both the Education, Research and Impact portfolio and the ‘linking pin’ position from D. van den Boom, who retired as a member of both supervisory boards in October 2021. This shift created a vacancy on the Supervisory Board of Radboud University for the portfolio originally held by V. Frissen: Innovation, Valorisation and Digitalisation. The Supervisory Board began the procedure for assigning this portfolio in the first quarter of 2022. Under the Articles of Association of Stichting Radboud Universiteit, one member of the Supervisory Board is appointed after nomination by the representative bodies. The representative bodies and the Supervisory Board agreed that the representative bodies would nominate the member who held the Innovation, Valorisation and Digitalisation (IVD) portfolio.

On 8 July 2022, the Supervisory Board appointed H. Naves as a member of the board with responsibility for the Legal and Governance portfolio.

The board thanks P. Morshuis for his willingness to remain a member of the Radboud University Supervisory Board until the remaining vacancy on the board is filled.

At the end of 2022, the members of the board were as follows:

  • M.W.L. (Merel) van Vroonhoven MBA, chair

  • Prof. V.A.J. (Valerie) Frissen

  • P.A. (Paul) Morshuis RC

  • H.C. (Henk) Naves

  • Prof. M. (Mario) van Vliet, vice chair

An overview of the (secondary) positions of the members of the Supervisory Board is included in the appendix.

Composition of the committees:

  • Audit Committee: P. Morshuis, M. van Vliet (chair) and H. Naves

  • Education and Research Committee: V. Frissen (chair), vacancy (IVD portfolio)

  • Remuneration Committee: M. van Vroonhoven (chair), M. van Vliet

Furthermore, two members of the Supervisory Board were delegated to the Reinier Post Foundation this year: M. van Vliet as a member of the foundation’s board and H. Naves as a member of the asset management committee. P. Morshuis continued in his role as chair of the asset management committee.

The self-assessment for the year 2022 was conducted in November 2022 as part of the awayday. The board members each filled in a questionnaire separately and, based on the combined results, the functioning of the board, committees, members and support, and the cooperation with the Executive Board were discussed during the awayday.

Meetings of the Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board held six regular meetings this year. In addition, there was an additional meeting, a theme session and two awaydays.

The board approved the 2021 annual report and financial statements of Radboud University.

Furthermore, based on a positive recommendation from the Audit Committee, the board discussed and approved the university’s annual plan and budget for 2023. In doing so, the board paid attention to issues such as the progress of the quality agreements, the use of reserves, investments, and the legitimate acquisition and effective use of resources.

In addition to the topics mentioned in the introduction to this annual report, the issues discussed in consultations with the Executive Board included sustainability in education, the dialogue on the university’s identity, the campus plan, Growth Fund applications, the 2023 student guidance programme, Recognition and Rewards, the Radboud University COVID-19 Plan, the development of four technology Master’s programmes and the procedure for the tender process for the external auditor.

The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board discussed the progress made in implementing the university’s strategy several times. This resulted in the development of the strategy monitor presented at the end of 2022.

Supervisory Board Committees

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee met five times in 2022. As of 14 April 2022, M. van Vliet took over the chairpersonship from P. Morshuis. The external auditor attended all the meetings.

In the spring, the committee discussed the 2021 annual report and financial statements of Radboud University. The auditor’s report was reviewed in the presence of the auditor. Both the process of drawing up the annual report and financial statements and the auditor’s report show that the financial processes on which the reporting is based are in order. The Audit Committee advised the Supervisory Board to approve the annual report and financial statements.

With respect to the campus plan, the committee requested a stress test, and the results were discussed with the committee in early 2022. Partly based on this, the committee made a positive recommendation to the Supervisory Board, who approved the campus plan in April. The committee appointed an external consultant, who will provide expertise on campus real estate development and finance to the committee during the implementation of the campus plan.

In the autumn, the Audit Committee discussed Radboud University’s annual plan and budget for 2023 (including the multi-year plan). Important discussion points included the use of reserves to attract additional staff in order to reduce the workload, the financing of top research facilities, and the main risks in the budget and the multi-year estimate. The latter involves rising costs, reduced predictability in government funding and declining market share. This has not yet had major consequences for 2023. Some mitigation measures may need to be taken from 2024 onwards; this will be investigated further. The committee presented the annual plan and the budget for 2023 to the Supervisory Board for approval with a positive recommendation. The management letter from the auditor was also discussed.

Twice a year, the Audit Committee discusses the progress of the quality agreements. This is a fixed part of the planning and control cycle and occurs at the same time as the discussion of the annual plan and the budget, and during the discussion of the annual report. For this discussion, the Audit Committee receives an extensive report about each faculty’s progress on the quality agreements. This report is also shared with the full Supervisory Board.

Other topics discussed by the Audit Committee in its meetings this year included the further development of the campus, IT developments (including cybersecurity), the risk management policy, the annual report, annual plan and (progress) reports by the Internal Audit Service, the auditor’s control plan, the multi-year investment forecast, the audit charter and the periodic financial update.

PWC Accountants NV was appointed as the external auditor for the period from 2016 to 2019, with the option to extend for four consecutive years. The most recent extension has since been completed.

Education and Research Committee

The Education and Research Committee met five times in 2022.

The meetings regularly discussed pandemic-related developments and the return of education and research to the pre-pandemic situation. They included discussions about study progress and the guidance and wellbeing of students.

In addition, the committee monitored the university’s quality assurance system. This included discussion of the outcomes of various education and research assessments and an update on activities related to academic integrity.

Regarding the further development and innovation of education, the committee took note of the plans to start four technology Master’s programmes at the university, two of which will be developed and taught in collaboration with Maastricht University. 

In recent years, open science has gained momentum in international scholarship. The committee was briefed on developments at Radboud University in this area and on the university’s plans to further encourage and support open science. Radboud University Press has an important role to play here.

Radboud University received high scores from both the National Growth Funds (Groeifonds) and the Dutch Research Council (NWO) Gravitation programme. With the Growth Fund, it is not only about the number of projects to which

Radboud researchers are connected, but the focus is also on two projects for which

Radboud University is the consortium leader, because these projects involve setting up two national labs. These are the National Education Lab AI (NOLAI) and a fully automated robot lab.

The national theme of Recognition and Rewards is an important strategic topic for Radboud University. The Recognition and Rewards project aims to bring about a transformation in culture and systems with respect to recognition and rewards. Over the past two years, there has been a discussion within the organisation’s ranks about recognition and rewards. This resulted in a vision document adopted by the Executive Board, which the committee has acknowledged with appreciation.

In addition, several deans gave presentations at committee meetings on the developments and important themes at their faculty.

Remuneration Committee

The Remuneration Committee met five times during the year under review.

At the recommendation of the Remuneration Committee, the Supervisory Board set the managerial remuneration for the year 2022 in early 2022.

The 2022 financial statements include an overview of compensations based on expense claims submitted by individual members of the Executive Board. An overview of the 2022 expenses from invoices and expense claims from the Executive Board has been included on the website.

The Remuneration Committee conducted the annual appraisal interviews with the members of the Executive Board in 2022, prior to which input was gathered from all members of the Supervisory Board. The committee reported its findings to the Supervisory Board. 

Furthermore, at the committee meetings, agreements were reached on the approach to annual appraisal interviews with the members of the Executive Board, the approach to succession planning for positions on the Executive Board and the method for self-evaluation by the Supervisory Board.

The Supervisory Board’s role as an employer

In December 2022, the Supervisory Board adopted the procedure for the recruitment and selection of a new rector, due to the announced departure of the current rector in October 2023. The board also adopted the general draft profile for the member of the Executive Board and the draft profile for the rector position and submitted them to the Executive Board and the representative bodies for advice.

Consultations of the Supervisory Boards of Radboud University and Radboud university medical center

The two Supervisory Boards held joint consultations twice in 2022. Topics discussed included cooperation between the two organisations, the status of the administrative agreement and the integrated care agreement. In addition, the chairs of both Supervisory Boards met twice.

Contacts with stakeholders

The Supervisory Board has consultations and talks with various stakeholders inside and outside the organisation. A delegation from the board attended the two consultative meetings between the central representative bodies and the Executive Board, during which the university’s annual report and the university’s annual plan and budget were discussed, respectively. The board also held an informal meeting with the praesidium of the participational bodies. Board members were also present at the opening of the academic year and at the university’s Dies Natalis celebration. The board participated in the national meeting of the chairs of the Supervisory Boards of Dutch universities, which was held twice.

Appendix: Overview of the ancillary activities of the members of the Supervisory Board.

M.W.L. (Merel) van Vroonhoven MBA
  • Special education teacher (paid)

  • Columnist (de Volkskrant newspaper) (paid)

  • Chair of the Supervisory Board for Stichting Lezen (paid)

  • Vice chair of the Executive supervision Art Museum (unpaid)

  • Member of the Supervisory Board for Het Nationale Theater (unpaid)

Prof. V.A.J. (Valerie) Frissen
  • Director of SIDN fund (paid, primary job)

  • Professor by special appointment for Digital Technologies & Social Change, Leiden University

  • Member of the Supervisory Board of Radboud university medical center (paid)

  • Member of the Supervisory Board of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (paid)

  • Member of the Supervisory Board of Stichting Kennisland (unpaid)

  • Member of the Board of WTMC, Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (unpaid)

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of IVIR (Instituut voor Informatierecht), University of Amsterdam (unpaid)

  • Member of Dutch Creative Council (unpaid)

  • Chair of the Advisory Board of the pilot: Creatieve Industrie Eindhoven (unpaid)

  • Member of the Supervisory Board and Digital Ethics Advisory Board for NL Digital (unpaid)

  • Member of LEAD, Advisory Board of Landelijke Eenheid Politie (unpaid)

P.A. (Paul) Morshuis RC
  • Member of the Supervisory Board of Radboud university medical center (paid)

  • Board member of Stichting Kifid (Dutch Institute for Financial Disputes) (paid)

  • Chair of the governance and administrative reporting committee for the Dutch Accounting Standards Board (Raad voor de Jaarverslaggeving) (until November 2022)

Prof. M. (Mario) van Vliet
  • COO of Deloitte Global Consulting (primary job, paid)

  • Professor of Information & Technology Management at VU Amsterdam (unpaid)

  • Member of the Supervisory Board, financial portfolio, JINC (unpaid)

  • Member of the Board if Amsterdam Sinfonietta Fund (unpaid)

H.C. (Henk) Naves
  • Chair of the Council for the Judiciary (primary position, paid) and judge

  • Dean of the Netherlands School of Public Administration (paid)

  • Chair of the National Complaints Committee for Christian Education (paid)

  • Chair of the Arbitration Committee for Inclusive Education (paid)