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4. Governance

New management model

The Executive Board adopted a new management model in 2021. It describes how the university – and within it, the faculties and units – is managed. This concerns the structure of the university organisation, the division of tasks and the working method.

For example, the management model unambiguously sets out the tasks and responsibilities of the Executive Board, also in relation to the Supervisory Board and the role of the participational bodies. The management model also describes the way education and research are organised within the faculties and units.

The adoption of the governance model is the culmination of an intensive multi-year process in which faculties and the participational bodies were closely involved. The direct motive for rewriting the management model was the institutional quality assurance audit conducted a few years ago. In the budget discussions for 2022, all faculties and units submitted a plan and discussed with the Executive Board how they would implement adjustments in the coming years to fully comply with the new management model.

Planning and control cycle

The starting point of the university’s planning and control cycle is the policy letter in early spring, setting out the content and financial frameworks for the new budget year. In the autumn, the faculties and other units submit their (multi-year) budgets (including policy intentions) to the Executive Board and the budget discussions take place. The Executive Board then submits the university budget and the governance agenda to the participational bodies. They have the right of consent to the main points in the university budget. The budget is then approved by the Supervisory Board.

The university reports on its activities each year by publishing the annual report. The same procedure as above is used here: the units prepare their own annual reports, after which the faculties submit their annual reports to the Executive Board. After conducting the annual report discussions, the university annual report is submitted for information to the participational bodies and is approved by the Supervisory Board.

During the year, the development of a number of indicators is periodically monitored, including some related to education, research, employees, students and finances. If necessary, interim adjustments are made based on these data. Academic higher education and research at Radboud University are carried out in seven faculties. The faculty’s Executive Board leads and manages the faculty and charts the course of the faculty as a whole. The dean acts as chair of the board and is supported by the secretary, who also prepares for the meetings. The student assessor attends the meetings as an adviser.


  • Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Dean: Christoph Lüthy
    (from July: Heleen Murre-van den Berg)

  • Faculty of Arts Dean: Margot van Mulken

  • Nijmegen School of Management Dean: Tom Elfring

  • Faculty of Medical Sciences Dean: Jan Smit

  • Faculty of Science Dean: Lutgarde Buydens (from December: Sijbrand de Jong)

  • Faculty of Law Dean: Piet Hein van Kempen

  • Faculty of Social Sciences Dean: Michiel Kompier

Participational bodies and programme committees

Students and staff contribute to the quality of administrative decisions by playing an active role in participational bodies at the university (central) level, faculty (local) level, and study programme level. The university offers various training courses to members of the participational bodies and programme committees to optimally prepare them for their roles.

Joint Assembly:

50 years of participational bodies in 2021, 150th consultative meeting

On 5 July 2021, 50 years of participational bodies at Radboud University coincided with the 150th consultative meeting of the Joint Assembly with the Executive Board.

The coronavirus pandemic heavily dominated the 2021 academic council year, but despite the online meetings, the central participational bodies look back with satisfaction on a fruitful council year.

Six consultative meetings were held in 2021. The discussions of the ‘General state of affairs’ in July 2021 and the ‘2022 Annual Plan and Budget’ in November were held in the presence of a delegation from the Supervisory Board.

In 2021, the changes in the planning and control cycle were evident in both the 2022 Policy Letter and the 2022 Annual Plan and Budget. A fixed format was used to establish a clear link between policy and the resources involved. With regard to the University Joint Assembly (UGV)’s1 right to consent to the main points of the budget, the participational bodies are of the opinion that this is a significant improvement.

The UGV is also very pleased with the board’s decision to also fund pre-Master’s students through the internal allocation model starting in 2022.

In 2021, the high (perceived) workload among staff continued to receive the undivided attention of the Works Council. Despite the many initiatives that have been developed, the (perceived) workload remains high. By zooming in on the results of the interim staff surveys, the HR key figures and the audit of temporary contracts, the Works Council is trying to gain a better understanding of the causes of the (perceived) workload and to gain insight into the actual increase in the number of permanent contracts. The University Student Council (USC) is also concerned about the continuing workload because it may have a negative effect on the quality of education in the long term.

Concern about student well-being remains high, reinforced by the consequences of COVID-19. Although the student guidance project has been delayed, the Wellbeing Week was organised again, partly at the USC’s insistence.

The USC is pleased with the temporary reduction of the BSA by 6.5 ECs. This reduction somewhat mitigates the pandemic’s negative impact on students.

Through the USC, the international student community is also increasingly well represented at the central level. Indeed, this year another international student was elected to join the 2021-2022 USC.

In 2021, there were several discussions with the board about the newly proposed Code of Conduct and the GEM (User-Owner Model). Various points of view and opinions were exchanged. The following three regulations fall under the Code of Conduct:

  • 1) Regulation on alcohol and drug use

  • 2) Regulations for personal relationships in the workplace

  • 3) Regulations on social media.

Discussions about the Code of Conduct and the GEM model will continue in 2022.

The following items were also discussed with the board in 2021: the Management model, the Ombudsperson for staff members, the Working from home memorandum and Hybrid Work Regulations, the Green, Traffic-free Campus, the 2021–2025 Energy Policy Plan, the follow-up memo about Proctorio, the Scheme for Top Talents in Sports and the Arts, the 2022–2023 Institutional Tuition Fees, the criteria for the 2022-2023 Radboud Encouragement Scholarship (RES) Programme, the external research related to the reorganisation of the cleaning services, the reorganisation of Information Services, the annual reports of the confidential advisors, SIEM (Security Information and Events Monitoring system), and the accrued leave balances.

With the arrival of a new vice chair of the board in January 2022 and the appointment of the secretary of the university as of 1 September 2021, the Joint Assembly is looking forward to the coming (participational bodies) year.

Composition of the central participational bodies

  • Works Council, consisting of;

    • 21 members who are elected by staff members every other year.

  • University Student Council, consisting of;

    • 8 members who are elected annually by the students;

    • and 6 members who are appointed by the federations of student organisations.

  • University Joint Assembly, consisting of: 

    • the 21 members from the Works Council;

    • the 8 elected members of the University Student Council;

    • 4 members representing the academic staff of Radboud university medical center.

Local participational bodies

Students and staff members exercise their participation in the Faculty Joint Assembly (FGV), together with the faculty’s Executive Board. The FGV has the right of consent for the Education and Examination Regulations (unlike at other universities), discusses the budget and the annual report, and consults on all professor appointments at the faculty. There is a student assessor on the faculty’s Executive Board who ensures students’ voices are heard at the board level.

Composition of the local participational bodies

Each faculty has three local participational bodies:

  • Representative Council (OC);

    • consisting of 5 to 15 members who are elected by employees every other year.

  • Faculty Student Council (FSR);

    • consisting of 4 to 8 members who are elected annually by the students.

  • Faculty Joint Assembly (FGV), consisting of:

    • members of the OC;

    • the members of the FSR.

Programme committees

Every study programme has a programme committee, comprised of both lecturer and student members. The committee advises the dean about important educational matters related to the study programme. Based on educational evaluations, the committee makes recommendations to improve the curriculum. Topics that are dealt with in the committee include the study material, the degree of difficulty of exams and the performance of lecturers. The student members of the programme committees are elected during the University Student Council elections, which take place every May. The Donders Institute, the Radboud Teachers Academy, Radboud Services and the Administration Office each have their own Representative Council.

Organisational chart