UU President: In 2019, each faculty board should have a woman

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All boards of all faculties and departments should consist of both a man and a woman in 2019. UU President Anton Pijpers wants to make that happen this coming year, he mentioned in a New Year’s speech on Tuesday, January 8.

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“It’s not of this time that in conversations with four faculty boards, there are only male representatives present,” Anton Pijpers said on Tuesday in the auditorium during his New Year’s speech.

For that reason, partially inspired by a bias course in which (subconscious) prejudices are discussed, he wants to make sure that in 2019, all faculty boards, department boards, and committees are gender-diverse. That means all these boards need to have at least one male or at least one female member. For larger boards and committees, it means that the composition in 2020 needs to be at least 30 percent gender-diverse.

Utrecht University has seven faculties. Most boards consist of five members. In Utrecht, the Law and Science faculties have female deans. Of the fourteen vice-deans, three are women: two at Social Sciences, and one at Law. With the exception of Law, all faculties have male directors.

The question is how strict Pijpers will be about gender diversity. Of the seven faculties, the faculty of Veterinary Medicine is the only one that’s all-male. At Humanities and Geosciences, only the student assessors are women. At Medicine, the policy advisor for education is a woman. It’s uncear whether Pijpers also takes the student assessors into account.

Most department boards do have a fairly mixed composition, but especially at Geosciences, there’s work to be done. Three out of four department boards consist of only men. At the Faculty of Science, too, several department boards are led exclusively by men.

It’s as yet unclear how the Executive Board envisions implementing the change. During the drinks after the speech, a suggestion was heard that the most probable form of action would be that all-male boards will not be allowed to find a male successor in case someone leaves.

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