Recognition & Rewards

Working for change together

As the Rector Magnificus of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), I fully support the aims of the Recognition & Rewards programme. It is important to understand how the academic community views the culture change. A first look at the national results of the culture barometer shows there is broad support for the programme’s ambitions and that a large share of academics are (somewhat) familiar with the programme.

This means there is still a lot of ground to cover! The fact that many of the respondents reported feeling underrecognised and underrewarded highlights the need for the programme. Recognition & Rewards should not just become an empty slogan or a catch-all term, and as far as I am concerned it certainly is none of that. However, the change being worked on by the Recognition & Rewards programme is not yet sufficiently visible to employees in the workplace. In a way, this makes sense, as the choice for sustainable culture change meant that the approach towards achieving change involved translating the position paper Room for everyone’s talent to the context of the various institutions. This translation has now been effected, so it is time to make the changes more visible and to involve academics more actively.

As leaders, we have a great responsibility in this respect. Without good and persistent academic leadership, the culture change will not take root throughout the broader organisation. Within EUR, we have already made some great strides and we have a growing group of academics who are familiar with and contribute to the programme. I am excited about the close cooperation with and between the various faculties, the differentiated career paths that have already been developed and the increasing use of narratives.

Recognition & Rewards is not just a programme aiming to change the toolbox; it is a vision for the future that is at the core of our ambition for academic excellence and inclusivity. The movement towards a new academic culture accommodates and values a variety of talents as well as people. We will have to remain alert to any concerns expressed about the programme and to a lack of familiarity with the programme. As employers, we have a great responsibility – one of ensuring that cooperation at the national level is continued and that, for example, the choice of a differentiated career path does not have an adverse effect on one’s career options. It is also crucial to monitor global developments so that our researchers can continue to operate at the international level. In short, we have a duty to be transparent about the choices we make and the challenges we see ahead of us. Fostering good leadership remains essential!

Let us continue to take steps together towards an academic culture of recognition, rewards and job satisfaction. At this point, I would like to express particular support for the early career academics. Your input is crucial for sustainable culture change. Only together and with a broad perspective can we make a lasting impact – not on academia alone, but on society as a whole.

Annelien Bredenoord, Rector Magnificus, Erasmus University Rotterdam