As of 1 January, former vice-dean Dirk-Jan de Koning is the new deputy dean at the VH Faculty, with research as his area of responsibility. The role of the deputy dean is not clearly defined, and more broad-ranging than you’d expect. It will change over time and in relation to the role of the vice-deans and will be communicated in cooperation with the dean.
“The role of a deputy dean is partly to support and act as a sounding board for the dean. Rauni and I will share the work between us. We had a lot of good discussions when I was a vice-dean so we’ll just continue in the same way” says Dirk-Jan, adding that the new faculty board will now have to establish its working methods.
“The amazing thing about being a deputy dean, and part of the VH Faculty’s management, is being able to influence our complex activities. We specialise in different things. Someone focuses on collaboration, someone else on education and the third one on research – but we all work at the same faculty, and at our meetings, we discuss all major issues together. The departments and their heads have considerable influence, too.”
The next three years will be characterised by implementing the faculty’s strategy, action plan and skills provision plans. One of our major tasks that is already well underway is increasing the number of places on our degree programmes in veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing. This is intensive work that has been ongoing for some time already, it’s an opportunity for the whole faculty to improve and something where the faculty management and all departments must cooperate if the project is to be successful.
Several professors and lecturers will be retiring in the next few years, and recruitments for senior posts will be one of the big issues the faculty board must handle.
“Recruitments for senior posts are an important part of what the faculty board does. For these recruitments, we need to build bridges between departments and subject fields”, explains Dirk-Jan.
Even though his tasks as deputy dean require a lot of time, Dirk-Jan will continue his research at the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics.
Text and photo by Mårten Granert-Gärdfeldt. Published February 2022.