Social safety is one of the focal points during the university’s anniversary year

09 Jan 2023

The Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst, the American philosopher Michael Sandel and the Italian CERN director Fabiola Gianotti will all receive an honorary doctorate from Radboud University, as well as four other scientists. This was announced by board president Daniël Wigboldus during the New Year's meeting of Radboud University. He also announced that the Executive Board wants to keep investing in social safety.

For Radboud University, 2023 is all about its centenary. In the New Year’s address, in a full Auditorium, board president Daniël Wigboldus looked ahead to what is in store for the coming year.

New rector

Specifically, there will be two weeks of festivities this year. From 8 to 14 May primary school children will visit the university for a special edition of Radboud Kids and with Radboud Sounds there will be an event around music and science in Doornroosje. The university also wants to surprise the municipality of Nijmegen with a hundred Radboud Gestures: selfless actions for the city devised by students and staff.

Then on 17 October is the big moment: the university’s lustrum. In honour of the university’s centenary, seven scientists will be awarded honorary doctorates – one on behalf of each faculty (see box). On that day, Han van Krieken, who is retiring, will hand over the rectorship to his successor.

Social safety

In 2023, the Executive Board plans to give extra attention to seven spearheads. Among other things, effective leadership, the implementation of the Recognition and Appreciation programme and investing in the continuity and renewal of existing infrastructure for top research are important in the coming year, Wigboldus said.

On one of the spearheads, a socially safe campus, the board president dwelt a little longer. After all, at the end of last year, a philosopher at the philosophy faculty resigned due to ’transgressive behaviour by colleagues‘ and an investigation into undesirable behaviour by a staff member is also ongoing at the social sciences faculty. ‘Over the last period, we have experienced that social safety is not a given’, Wigboldus said.

‘Social safety is not a given’

‘With a code of conduct, the team of confidential advisers, HR advisers and ombudsmen (for employees and students, ed.), we are not there just yet’, said the college president. According to Wigboldus, Radboud University must make the step from paper to practice this year. ‘Social safety in the workplace only really improves by making our own behaviour and that of others a structural topic of conversation.’

According to Wigboldus, it is important to not make the other person responsible for saying ‘stop’. ‘Indicating that you don’t want or don’t like something is difficult. Especially in a work or study context where there is often a form of dependence on each other.’


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