Eva Demerouti. Photo | Bart van Overbeeke

Brainmatters | The Bachelor College


‘For faculty members, the Bachelor College means motivated students, support in the development and use of new teaching methods and techniques, more results from educational efforts, more time for student coaching and a more challenging workspace because of collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines.’

On the intranet, above text attempts to outline the merits of the Bachelor College (BC) for faculty members. Let’s see what the BC really means for the staff, based on two pillars that predict people’s behavior at work: health and professional motivation.

Does the BC provide a ‘healthy’ and motivating workplace for its faculty? Research -by yours truly, among others- shows that people work most healthily and motivated in workplaces with feasible job demands and where they have access to ample resources. Job demands are aspects that require effort, and for that reason they’re associated with costs. Examples are workload, time pressure, conflicting expectations, and conflicts with students. Resources are aspects that relieve the handling of job demands and reduce the costs associated with them. Examples of this include autonomy (or discretion), colleague support, supervision and organization, and opportunities for development.

Being presented with feasible job demands and sufficient resources, people are willing and able to work hard for their jobs. It may have been inevitable that with the implementation of the BC came more job demands (developing new courses, implementing new test methods, more teaching hours, many deadlines, and more students). But are there enough resources to alleviate all these job demands? Think of instrumental help with the development and teaching of new education and teaching assistants, administrative help, discretion, social support, recognition for good work, teacher coaching.

In the long run, the combination of high job demands and insufficient resources may lead to burnouts (and the consequences that come with those). For the BC (and the performance of TU/e) to be successful, it’s therefore essential for faculty members’ job demands to remain feasible, and to offer sufficient resources.

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