Rik Torfs suggests that academics should get a special day a week that is reserved for research and would be able to lighten the load of their heavily filled agenda. The rector points to the choc-a-bloc agenda of many academics filled with teaching, research and offering all kinds of services and calls for a dedicated research day a week. On such a day lecturers would not be encumbered by having to teach or attend meetings.
Rik Torfs insists that balanced work pressure is important. A dedicated day could ensure mental peace and creative force and is a means of avoiding burn-outs. The rector has no plans to make the dedicated research day obligatory: "Making it compulsory would create extra stress and this is intended as a way of alleviating stress."
According to a survey 74% of lecturers are happy in their work, but they often indicate that too many demands are being placed on them.
Rik Torfs faces a challenge from Luc Sels on 9 May.