Interview with Martine van Selm, Dean ESHCC as of November 1st

Prof.dr. M. (Martine) van Selm
Dirk Gillissen

This summer, Martine van Selm was appointed dean of ESHCC by the Executive Board of Erasmus University. Martine van Selm, currently still working as Professor Communication Science, in particular Social Perception in Organisations, at UvA’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, will succeed Frank van der Duijn Schouten as of 1 November 2020. We’ve asked Martine van Selm a few questions about her background and her plans for our faculty, in order to get to know her a bit better.

Could you introduce yourself in a few sentences?

I am a professor of Communication Science and, for the last ten years, I served as the director of the College of Communication at the University of Amsterdam. In that role, I gained experience in leadership and administration at the levels of the department, the faculty and the university. Before my time in Amsterdam, I worked at the Radboud University in Nijmegen: as a PhD-student at the Gerontology department, assistant professor at the department Communication Science and associate professor at the Department of Social Science Research Methods, chairing the unit qualitative research. 

What made you decide to transfer from the University of Amsterdam to the Erasmus University Rotterdam?

The social impact mission of the Erasmus University Rotterdam fits well with my view on the societal role of universities. I sense that in the coming years the Erasmus University Rotterdam can make a difference and I am looking forward to being part of that in my new role as dean at ESHCC. 

How would your colleagues describe you?

I think they would describe me as an optimistic, practical and cheerful person, while also being serious, and having an overview. 

What are your plans for the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication?

To further shape ESHCC’s unique position in contributing humanities and social science expertise to the strategic plan of the Erasmus University Rotterdam. ESHCC is a unique school where pressing socio-cultural issues are being studied in an interdisciplinary way by scholars of History, Arts & Culture, and Media & Communication. I will be committed to further strengthen the visibility of this work inside and outside the school.

How do you want to involve staff and students in your plans?

The new organization structure, implemented by the current dean a.i. Frank Van der Duijn Schouten, offers a promising framework for staff and student involvement. In the new structure the dean, vice-deans for research and education, heads of departments and director operations will work together in shaping and communicating plans, in consultation with the program committees and the faculty council. Perhaps we could develop or renew cross-department research projects, in which staff and students work together.

Is there something that you already want to share with your new colleagues?

Next to my work as a dean, I will have time for research. My chair will be named ‘Organisational Communication’ and will be situated in the Media & Communication department. Here I will continue my current research on media images and employer communication regarding older workers over time.

I am looking forward to meeting staff and students in November, in person or virtually - depending on what the Corona situation allows for by that time.