How new do you want it in 2019?
In 2019 the word 'New Year' will have a very special meaning at TU/e. In the governance sphere, as well as in terms of finances and accommodation. Our Executive Board will be refreshed for two parts. The adjusted distribution of our budget is eagerly awaited by most departments, but not by all. And as the icing on the cake, the TU/e services, and later on two departments, will be taking up residence in the sustainably renovated Atlas.
Only yesterday morning I was sitting with Jo van Ham, the vice president of our university, who as of January 1st will be officially succeeded by Nicole Ummelen, currently still secretary of TU/e. Is he perhaps already looking forward to his approaching farewell in March with some nostalgia? He admitted that it's not a problem. “I have something of the feeling you have when it's three weeks before your summer vacation. You are looking forward to it and find the idea really quite appealing.” For him then 2019 means a new phase in his life. His successor will provide continuity and good governance, in his firm opinion. And her successor, Susanne van Weelden, is already waiting to start as of February 1st.
Later on in the year Board President Jan Mengelers will be replaced by Robert-Jan Smits, who recently declared that for him coming here to work is a dream come true. Not that Mengelers as yet has any real time to ponder this development, because it is still some way off.
TU/e's adjusted funding model, referred to in the corridors by the term SAM 2.0, will also be launched in the new year. From central funding more money will go to the departments, enabling them to hire staff with greater financial assurance. But in return the department must have a robust research arm and Built Environment and Industrial Design are still lacking this strength. For these departments the Executive Board will come to their aid with extra funding intended “to help them through the winter”, to use Mengelers' own words, over the coming three years. It is essential that during this period these departments give their research a considerable boost.
At Atlas it has been all comings and goings for more than two weeks now with removal trucks transporting all kinds of furniture, canteen and kitchen design items, and the like. In the New Year, up on the top floor the staff of almost all the auxiliary services must find their feet. This newness is also being anticipated with tense expectation.
And at Cursor? Our 'new thing', continuing 'online only', is a novelty that we have now grown used to. We are pretty pleased with what we have achieved, but at times it is still tricky to find the optimum way of working. That's a nice challenge for the New Year. We are staying put in the Auditorium, in this spot where we can easily be seen and where we hope in 2019 to receive a great many students and employees, as we did in 2018. Feel free to drop by and see us sometime.