Heads of University Management & Administration Network Europe

Utrecht University Study Visit Speakers & Abstracts

Bert van der Zwaan

Rector Utrecht University (until April 1, 2018), Chair of LERU

After 800 years the state of the university should be reconsidered very carefully. In the English-speaking world there is an increasing chorus of voices  that comment on the “crisis of the research university”, and that predicts a troublesome future based on the sky-high tuition fees, the increasing privatization and the decreasing government support.

The first reflex to this is to react from an inward-looking perspective, and to start the narrative that pleads for increased funding to preserve the university in present state. However, instead of reasoning from within, it seems wise to consider the question whether the university is still well positioned in a changing society. A central element in this debate concerns the question whether the university shows enough leadership in the mass of pressing problems that society is facing: dwindling resources, mass-migration and a sustainable future of the planet, all form great challenges.

Increasingly students and faculty ask their university to address these problems and be a role model for society. It is therefore unescapable that universities put this at the top of their agenda, to point the way to solutions, including transforming their own organisations accordingly.

Bert van der Zwaan is the 333th Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University. Trained as paleontologist, he has been professor of Biogeology at Utrecht and Nijmegen Universities,  director of the national Darwin Center for Biogeology (2004-2008), dean of the faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University (2006-2010), and scientific leader and first CEO of Climate-KIC (2009-2010).

He is president of the League of European Research Universities (LERU). He  has held numerous positions inside and outside of the academia. He is author of the book “Higher Education in 2040: a global approach” (2017).

Maarten Hajer

Scientific Director of UU Strategic Theme ‘Pathways to Sustainability’

The need to move from a perspective of ‘plausible futures’ to one of ‘desirable futures’ is now well understood. But what does this mean for the activities of the university? Should the role of the university change in light of the urgency of the sustainability crisis? And, if so, what options are there for the university to become an ‘agent of change’?

Maarten A. Hajer (1962) is distinguished professor of Urban Futures and Director of the Urban Futures Studio (www.uu.nl/ufs). Maarten is also the Scientific Director of the university-wide strategic theme 'Sustainability' and the lead author of its new programme, 'Pathways to Sustainability' (https://www.uu.nl/en/research/sustainability).

Previously Hajer was professor of Public Policy at the University of Amsterdam (1998-2015) and Director-General of the PBL – Netherlands Environmental Asssessment Agency (2008-2015). Hajer holds MA degrees in Political Science and in Urban and Regional Planning (both University of Amsterdam) and got his D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University. He is the author of over ten scholarly books. His most recent book is Smart about Cities – Visualizing the Challenge of 21st Century Urbanism (NAi/010, 2014), a critique of the prevalent discourse of smart cities and a call to connect new technological possibilities to a more encompassing agenda: the need to change the 'metabolism' of our cities.

Maarten Hajer was elected Government Manager of the Year in 2014. He was Chief Curator of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2016 the results of which can be found here. He is a member of UNEP's International Resource Panel (IRP) for which he co-chairs the working group on Cities (together with Mark Swilling). He is Honorary Professor at the University of Copenhagen and Extra-Ordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Hajer is now the curator of a new exhibition, Places of Hope, part of Leeuwarden Culturele Hoofdstad 2018. This is an initiative of the Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment.

Joachim Ninaus

Assistant teaching-trainer

Joachim Ninaus is Assistant in the teaching-trainer department at the University of Graz. Previously he has been Director of the Central Service Facilities of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz since 2015. Responsible for the areas of personnel department, financial accounting, stage technique, event-management, computer applications and systems, facility management and law. Prior to that, he had seven years as CEO of a regional management company with the goal of climate protection and awareness raising. From 2000 – 2007 Assistant of the management body (university council, rector, vice-rector for study, senate) at the University of Graz.

Frank Bakema & Eva Verschoor

At Wageningen University sustainability lies at the heart of our mission and vision. The majority of our students and staff come to Wageningen to ‘improve the quality of life’ or in the words of students ‘to save the world’. For us this is the heart of sustainability and we do research and provide education to serve this purpose. Sustainability is an intrinsic core value of Wageningen University as long as we can remember. 

The integration of sustainability in our education was recently positively assessed by an external international panel that visited Wageningen University for the Institutional Audit that took place early this year. As we prepared this visit, we reflected on our ambitions and achievements, but also on our leadership. By looking back we discovered some keys that were important to maintain and stimulate sustainability in our education. These keys match our network organisation culture with a high level of trust in our lecturers and staff and strong involvement of students. We also want to share the lessons we learned and further improvements we aim at

Frank Bakema is Manager Education and Student Affairs. ESA is responsible for facilitating the education provided by the university by preparing and implementing education policies.

Eva Verschoor is policy Advisor Education, department Corporate Strategy and Accounts . Corporate Strategy and Account is responsible for strategic policies and advice concerning education, research and accounts.

Joe Farthing

Communications Director, Social Responsibility Office, Edinburgh University

When I started working at Edinburgh, I was employed by students. I want to talk about our unusual journey from what might have become a student-led green office into part of our university's management group managing critical programmes worth millions of euros.

After open software and community radio, Joe got interested in community carbon saving. Specialising in behaviour change communications, he has trained over 200 other practitioners.

Carolien van Hemel

Director Utrecht Sustainability Institute

Knowledge and innovation broker Utrecht Sustainability Institute (USI) contributes to sustainable urban development, national and international, starting from the Utrecht region. USI is experienced in establishing partnerships and connecting scientists of knowledge institutes like Utrecht University with sustainability ambitions of governments, institutions and companies in the Utrecht region. To realise this, USI initiates and coordinates Dutch and European sustainable innovation projects, and offers a national platform for knowledge sharing, inspiration and debate. As a result, USI provides a home market and launching customers for regional knowledge and innovations, while contributing to the realisation of sustainability ambitions related to energy, mobility, water and circularity in the Utrecht region. April 24th USI Director Carolien van Hemel will explain how USI contributes to Utrecht University’s response to sustainability challenges by means of science driven knowledge and innovations. She will illustrate this by presenting three sustainable innovation projects and partnerships that USI recently established in the Utrecht region.

Being graduated as Industrial Design Engineereer at Delft University of Technology, Carolien van Hemel (1967) became a pioneer in sustainable product innovation. Her thesis ‘Ecodesign Empirically Explored’ (1998) concerns an empirical study of sustainable product innovation in the Dutch industry. She was responsible for the United Nations Environmental Programme international standard ‘Ecodesign; a Promising Approach’ (1998). She became a specialist in sustainable energy technology for the built environment during her posts as R&D Programme Manager at the Dutch ATAG Home Products Group (1998-2002) and Product Manager at the Dutch-German company Nefit-Bosch (2002-2006). She developed an international perspective on energy policy, innovation and European cooperation as Science and Innovation Counsellor at the Dutch Embassy in Paris (2006-2011). Back in the Netherlands she joined the Utrecht Sustainability Institute (USI) at Utrecht University in 2011 where she and her team foster sustainable innovation and sustainable urban development in the Utrecht region. Carolien van Hemel was appointed Director at USI in 2015.

Heerd Jan Hoogeveen

Programme Director Service Innovation  EBU

Within the Economic Board Utrecht (EBU), knowledge institutions, governments and businesses collaborate to support the economic development of the Utrecht region. In the philosophy of the EBU, solving societal challenges leads to economic growth. As a result, the main areas that the EBU is active in, are health, sustainability and digitisation. The EBU tries to form the coalitions that are able to help solve these challenges. As such, the EBU is not only a triple helix organisation itself, as its core business the EBU develops new triple helix coalitions as well. 

In his contribution, Heerd Jan Hoogeveen will share his experience with developing triple helix coalitions and the role of knowledge institutions within triple helix organisations in general, with a special attention to healthy urban living

Heerd Jan Hoogeveen (1972) studied Administrative Law at Utrecht University. He worked as a project manager at the Dutch Telecommunications Regulatory Authority OPTA, where he was responsible for OPTA’s involvement in new legislation that was being developed in Brussels and subsequently implemented in Dutch legislation. After he left OPTA, he was part of the management team of a large EU-funded programme focused on telecommunications legislation and liberalisation in North-Africa and the Middle East. As a self-employed consultant, he worked as an interim manager and strategic consultant for companies and institutions in the telecommunications and health care sector, before joining the Economic Board Utrecht as Programme Director Service Innovation in 2014. Next to his daily work, he was member of the local council in Woerden between (2010-2017), where he led the local chapter of the Democratic Party. 

Leendert Verhoef

Sustainable Innovation Program Developer, Green Office/TU Delft

Institutes of higher education (HEIs) have an astounding capacity to contribute to achieving global sustainability goals and to CO2 emission reduction. The primary functions - (formal) education and (fundamental/scientific) research - lead to the people and know-how to solve the challenges.

A forgotten area now gaining traction are the campus facilities and community as an informal learning environment and test-bed for students and researchers and to show-how their innovations . Awareness is growing that all HEIs worldwide have a significant ecological footprint themselves .

Living Lab methodologies seem a good approach to combine formal and informal education, research and campus sustainability. Sustainability offices at TU Delft and MIT are leading an initiative connected to the ISCN  to set up a common framework in a co-creation approach2, have connected this initiative to other - European (IUSDRP) and German (HOCH-N) – networks.

This initiative has so far led to a draft common framework. In a highly intellectual competitive environment combined with real estate and facility conservatism, it seems that creating a common language, and taking a modest approach, advocating sharing and co-creation rather than ownership of the system are important success factors.

In this presentation, the development and elements of the Living Lab Framework will be described, and the participants will be invited to experiment briefly with applying it to understanding each others’ universities.

Leendert Verhoef holds a PhD in Solar Cell Physics from the Utrecht University. He is currently Sustainable Innovation Program Developer at the Green Office at TU Delft and Partner in consultancy New-Energy-Works. 

In his career he has founded and grown several companies, such as New-Energy TV, Real Energy People and advised broadly in the field of sustainability, innovation and strategic marketing helping start-ups, multinationals, local governments and international institutes such as World Bank.

He develops multi-disciplinary system integration and circular economy programs and living labs, integrating mobility, grid, buildings and other sustainability issues. 

In the past 30 years he has initiated and managed multiple sustainable and  grid related energy innovation projects, has liaised with municipalities in national and international context, gave seminars and trainings and published about them.  Some books, ‘Energy from the Desert’, and ‘SunCities, Reflections’, and ‘Our Car as Power plant’.

He is strongly driven to educate sustainable leaders of future.

Fennet van de Wetering

Sustainability Consultant, Maastricht University

The journey of sustainability at Maastricht University (UM) started at 2010 when the first greenoffice by students was founded. A vision and subsequent roadmap of exceptional foresight were defined. Even though UM puts more emphasis on sustainability, UM dropped in the sustainability ranking of Dutch Higher Educational Institutes (SustainaBul). 

In 2016, UM set the ambition to be an inclusive, innovative and sustainable university by 2030. Based on more than 40 interviews and two workshops, an updated sustainability vision, a programmatic approach with adaptive strategy and matching organization were drafted and discussed with relevant stakeholders. Crucial was the link of sustainability with the core of UM and SDGs: Health, Food, Education, Understanding cultures/migration/human rights and Climate change. If so, sustainability is an important theme in our education, research and operations. The SDGs are used as guiding framework to connect UM to pressing problems in the world. Furthermore, UM will develop a sustainability culture in order to inspire the entire UM and network community to be active stakeholders in this endeavor.

Our contribution will focus on the journey of UM: past, present and future. Lessons learned as well as examples of partnership and leadership for the present and future are discussed. We invite YOU to speak up and share your thoughts of leadership: based on your role in the university as well as your (needed) personal change in behavior and attitude.

Fennet van de Wetering (1970) studied at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and obtained a MSc and PhD degree. She developed her intrinsic motivation ‘to make the world a better place’ in her studies as well as in her different work environments (see LinkedIn). In 2010, Fennet returned to WUR to become the coordinator of  the sustainability programme. From 2010-2016, more and more people got involved and therefore more initiatives and ideas of students, employees and society were addressed. Subsequently, WUR was ranked as i. the most sustainable university in the Netherlands by the Dutch students (SustainaBul) and ii. the most sustainable university worldwide according the Greenmetric ranking. 

To date, Fennet is sustainability consultant at UM. Starting from ‘waste and energy’ in 2016 to a SDG movement in 2018.    

Erwin Kuil

Director of Facility Services, Maastricht University

It’s already a year now that I have been employed by Maastricht University.

In one of the first meetings, during which I shared my vision with my team, I made it clear that sustainability can be removed from the agenda as far as I am concerned. That means no separate chapters in project plans, no extra funds for the building and renovation projects and certainly no sustainability consultant ( - as I told my advisor). Why? Simply because I think that sustainability must be intrinsic to the organization, a part of its DNA. Sustainability is naturally a part of everything we do as a university!

I am very pleased that UM has the same goal in mind; not in order to win the title of most sustainable university in the world, but to fulfil our moral obligation! Accordingly, I feel a connection with this organization.

Erwin Kuil (1973). Having previously served in the police force, I have been Director Facility Services at UM since 1 April 2017, real estate being among my responsibilities. I cooperate closely with the project managers of Education and Research and I am responsible for making UM’s business operations more sustainable.

Jorg Kop

Managing Director, UtrechtInc

Startups are booming. As it is a numbers game, many initiatives are needed to deliver successful startups in the end.

UtrechtInc belongs to the top 10 university business incubators in the world. Learn how startups operate, what UtrechtInc does, how ecosystems are build and how UtrechtInc puts building sustainable startups on the map. 

Jorg Kop (1970) is Managing Director at business incubator UtrechtInc and passionate to shape ideas, people and organisations for acceleration to the next level.

He founded 3 startups, is mentor to more than 50 startups, investor in 5 startups and occupied general management and commercial marketing roles in 4 international Corporates.

Anjelle Rademakers

Manager of the Green Office, Utrecht University

A Green Office is a university department that informs, involves and empowers students and staff to act on sustainability. Anjelle will guide you through the ins and outs of the Green Office Model and how it has been adapted at Utrecht University. She will answer questions like: why should universities play a key role in transforming society and how can a Green Office support a university in doing so? What have been the successes of Green Office Utrecht and no less important, what dilemmas are we facing? She will show you how projects can flourish when the energy of students and staff is combined and how bit by bit the culture at Utrecht University is changing for the better; how a small core team with a wide network can make a difference, while the office itself has become the sustainability headquarters at the heart of Utrecht University. 

Anjelle Rademakers is currently working as the manager of Green Office Utrecht University. She studied cultural anthropology and international development studies in Nijmegen and Utrecht. Afterwards she’s worked at a small variety of NGO’s and foundations such as FairFood and Friends of the Earth Netherlands (Milieudefensie). While working for the SustainaBul, a student led project aimed at ranking the sustainability level of higher education institutions, she found how contagious the energy and motivation of students can be, and how keen many students and staff are to change their working environment. She jumped on the opportunity to develop and lead the Green Office of Utrecht University and has been doing so since September 2013, building it up from scratch with the help of rootAbility, the founders of the Green Office Model. 

Anne Poulson

Chief Operating Officer, University of Greenwich

Over the past 20 years the business case and expectations for delivering sustainability have become stronger. Sustainability requirements are important for all businesses and particularly the higher education sector. Pressures on resource costs have increased meaning efficiency saves money. Students are increasingly identifying sustainability values important in the university they chose and expect it to be taught. The reputation and responsibilities of the sector is important as can be seen by the divestment and other campus campaigns. Universities have responded by increasingly seeing sustainability as an integral part of local and strategic decision making as it aligns with core strategic and operational requirements.

Sustainability at Greenwich has evolved and grown, moving from operational to strategic delivery. The scope of the issue (sustainability is a rare issue that relates to every part if a university’s activities) means that priority areas have to be identified for action although to support all areas through support as appropriate. As the current and future challenges are so large and some change the ability to deliver support has to be adaptive and increasingly ensure a business case if delivered. Along the way there have been many successes and a small number of failures – or learning outcomes that have helped improve and refine our forward, strategic approaches.

UoG has gained a significant amount from its investment and support of sustainability. This has led to a wide range of outcomes some directly improving our sustainability position, others rewarding our work. Sustainability is a recognised and core element of how Greenwich does things. A small team (two full time sustainability staff) ensure we deliver according to our sustainability goals. The team share best practice and help facilitate change by empowering staff and students to take responsibility or accept permission to take own leadership to deliver sustainability change. 

Anne has been the Chief Operating Officer for the University of Greenwich since July 2014. In her role, Anne is a member of the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and has overarching strategic responsibility for Greenwich’s professional and operational services, enhancing their contribution to the overall academic strategy and their underpinning of the student experience of the university. She leads the Directorates of Communications and Recruitment; Estates and Facilities; Human Resources; Information and Library Services; Planning and Statistics and Student and Academic Services. Anne is Chair of the Sustainability Management Board, IT Strategy Board and the Campus Management and Infrastructure Boards and is also leading on the communities and experience theme of the University’s new strategic plan including an innovative partnership with Charlton Athletic Football Club. 

Anne has a strong track record of leadership in higher education. Following a history degree from the University of Oxford and an MPhil in Historical Studies from the Warburg Institute (University of London), she trained as a library professional at University College London and spent the first part of her career in university libraries. She became Library Director at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the first Executive Director of Research Libraries UK before moving to run Academic Services at King’s College London in 2009. Two years later, she was appointed to lead the new converged Directorate of Students and Education which included admissions, libraries and employability, student administration, student services, academic governance and legal compliance and health and safety, as well as the professional services in the Arts and Sciences Schools.

Wilma de Koning

Vice-President Executive Board, Radboud University

There are many hot topics in the world of academia: valorisation/impact, digitisation, open access, open education, sustainability, academic integrity, leadership, etc. The question is: with all of the files that find their way onto your desk, how do you do the right thing at the right time in the right way? This is no easy feat, but it does call for a university that is open to new developments and capable of anticipating what's to come. How do you do that? And what do these seemingly disparate files have in common? In my contribution I will join you in trying to find the answer to these questions.

Wilma de Koning (1962), Vice President, is part of the Radboud University Executive Board since december 2013. Wilma de Koning studied Business Economics at the Business School of Economics (HEAO) in Eindhoven and at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Subsequently, she obtained a postgraduate degree in Accountancy in Rotterdam and a degree in Accountancy and the Environment at the University of Amsterdam. In 1987 she began her rich and varied career in education, starting out as a teacher at a school of continuing education in Eindhoven before going on to hold several positions at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, including that of lecturer, controller, Head of Finance and Corporate Controller. She then left Fontys University of Applied Sciences to work for Tilburg University, serving as Director of the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies and General Secretary/Managing Director. In 2009 she returned to Fontys in the capacity of member of the Executive Board, taking up a portfolio covering education and research quality assurance, HRM, ICT and finance.

Roy van den Berg

Student - Utrecht University 

Roy finished his Bachelor’s in 2014: Liberal Arts and Sciences, specializing in Life Sciences and Innovation management. Since that time he worked at the Green Office Utrecht and undertook many trips through nature by foot, bike and van. These ‘gap years’ led him to see the value of nature and indeed the potential it holds as a source of inspiration. Thus, not surprisingly, he is now enrolled in the new Master’s programme of Bio Inspired Innovation - informally known as Biomimicry - fully focussed at getting to know nature in order to develop sustainable innovations for a circular economy.

Marenthe Middelhoff

Student - Utrecht University 

Marenthe Middelhoff is currently studying Liberal Arts and Sciences with a focus on Governance for Sustainable Development. After taking a gap year abroad, travelling through different countries in Asia and Australia, Marenthe has chosen a study that focusses on interdisciplinary research. Inspired by her experiences whilst travelling she now looks beyond the boundaries of one discipline and also beyond the boundaries of the university. Marenthe is an active member of several associations including the Green Office Utrecht.

Davor Davidovikj

Student - University College Maastricht 

Davor Davidovikj is a 2nd year student at University College Maastricht doing his bachelors of science with a focus in Computer Science. Apart from my studies he is a avid reader of articles on virtually any topic, and enjoys playing the guitar and piano as well as solving programming challenges.

Davor is the Community Coordinator at Green Office Maastricht, which means that his role is to engage students, staff, and the wider Maastricht community through sustainability-related projects. Being involved with the Green Office enables him to have considerable freedom regarding the projects he wants to initiate and to make the contacts essential to achieving these projects. These two things are exactly what Davor deems most important to a thriving student organization: freedom and trust in students, and healthy relations between students and staff members. 

Ella Rauth

Student - Maastricht University

Ella is currently Data Science and Knowledge Engineering at Maastricht University. In January 2017 she joined the Maastricht University Green Office as Operations Coordinator. This gave her the opportunity to complement her technical studies with hands-on project work.

One of the things she enjoys most about her job is that she can bridge the gap between students and employees, sharing her ideas with stakeholders within the university. In the future, Ella hopes to combine her knowledge in data science and sustainability to understand the causes and effects of climate change better.

Alex Baker-Shelley

Student - Maastricht University

Alex is working to advance a collaborative and authentic pan-European network for the inquiry, design and practice of intelligent sustainability solutions. Since 2010, he has built, with colleagues and friends, a comprehensive and actionable portfolio on organisational transformation towards sustainability, which has potential to help start-ups, sustainability entre/intrapreneurs, SMEs, and HEIs to effectively navigate change. Navigating through transformation in our society and global environment necessitates competencies he plans to leverage as services.

Delivering tools to smaller organisations can generate and propagate the transformation required of society from the bottom-up, in a manner neither entirely publicly mandated nor market-driven. He is fascinated by lean, agile and purpose-driven enterprise, which has the chance to move the needle on the 21st century's most persistent challenges. He is gearing up his own action research-driven enterprise to suit this.

Joop Kessels

Study Visit Host and Convenor

Joop Kessels (1953) was Head of Administration of Utrecht University until January 2017. Prior to this his other positions at Utrecht University included, among others, director of Education and Research, director of Communications and Marketing and spokesman of the Executive Board. Joop studied biochemistry and received PhD in fundamental protein chemistry. Joop was involved in the creation of a sustainability programme and the foundation of a Green Office at his university.

Presently he is active in several projects, mainly concerning organisation change, both at Utrecht University and other universities.

Ian Creagh

Study Visit Convenor

After serving 10 years as King's College London's Senior Vice-president Operations & College Secretary, Ian now holds a portfolio of roles including Strategy Consultant for HUMANE.  Prior to King's, he held similar chief operating officer roles at City University London and before that, the University of Adelaide.  The first part of his career was in the Australian Public Service where he rose early on to become a member of the Senior Executive Service.  Ian is also an experienced non-executive having served on the Board of King's Health Partners, the Council of Governors of an NHS Foundation Trust, and the audit committee of the British Academy.