Rudy and Peter Skitterians via Pixabay
MAASTRICHT. Some university employees have been extra busy since the corona crisis, others have had very little to do. Since the beginning of April, the UM departments with a lot of work can report to the so-called ‘Job bank’. An employee from another department, where there is less work, then takes over the job. Except not much use is being made of it.
The number of jobs in the database is growing bit by bit, but there could be a lot more, says Marlou Tijssens from the Staff Career Centre. “So far, eight employees have reported in and four jobs have been submitted. I am convinced that a lot more people at the UM have too little to do at the moment and want to make themselves useful.”
One of those UM employees is Jelle Kouwenhoven from EDLAB. “My ‘real’ job has come to a standstill. It was nice to do nothing at first, reading a book in this great weather. But quite soon I wanted to do something productive.” First, he asked his boss if there were immediate colleagues who needed support. That wasn’t the case, so Kouwenhoven was happy when he read in the UM newsletter about the Job bank. “I can’t just stay sitting in my easy chair. Certainly not if I continue to receive my salary.” He made a note in his application that he would do anything, although he did have a preference for challenging work, something for which he would have to make an in-depth investigation.
He found that in the job at the University Library, the first assignment that had been presented. He tells enthusiastically about his new, temporary job. After “a kind of job interview” last week, he was allowed to start last Monday. Kouwenhoven is responsible for portfoliUM, which is part of Canvas, the replacement of Blackboard. “I am going to investigate what is possible and how user-friendly it is for students, lecturers, tutors, et cetera. To do so, I am also in contact with the company behind Canvas in California. That means having meetings at 18:00hrs, when it is only 9:00hrs there. I thought ‘I would help out somewhere’, but it is a real job. I have fun, enthusiastic, new colleagues and I feel useful, I feel as if I am really contributing.”