On 14 June the Executive Board sent a letter to all VHL staff. They also received a new version of the Inviting Prospect policy document for the university of applied sciences.
The Executive Board is adopting all the recommendations made by the VHL working group on teaching. That means, for instance, that the board has serious plans to introduce joint professional Master's for VHL and Wageningen University. Kropff will be chairing the discussions about the collaborative venture. There is no chance of VHL having its own executive board as that is not legally possible, says the Executive Board.
Furthermore, the board plans to review the charges for corporate services, but it does not want 'to raise hopes that all the additional costs can be scrapped in full.' The financial working group had calculated earlier that VHL will be paying Wageningen UR 365 thousand euros this year without getting any services in return. The Executive Board replies that part of the corporate charges are 'inextricably linked with the fact that it is part of Wageningen UR.' Spokesman Simon Vink adds: 'But we will take a careful look at that 365 thousand and we will come back to this on Wednesday in the presentation to the VHL staff.'
The board says Wageningen UR will continue to charge the full cost of services provided to VHL. That means the rent VHL Wageningen pays for Forum cannot be reduced, for instance. 'By which we mean that we won't be cutting the price per square metre', explains Vink. 'But VHL's costs for Forum could be a lot lower if the applied university decides to collaborate more closely with Wageningen University in arranging schedules for classrooms, timetables and reception desk support.' The board also wants to increase the internal hourly rates for VHL staff in order to get rid of the 'rate wall' hindering collaborative projects within Wageningen UR.
The Executive Board's decision on collaboration between VHL and the rest of Wageningen UR will depend on the results of the staff opinion poll on 20 June. 'Your support and backing is a key element in our decision about whether or not to continue the collaboration.' The board admits it shares some of the blame. 'All those involved realize that the partnership has not been put into practice to the extent it might have been in the past while. We too in the Executive Board will be giving the partnership more of our time and attention.'
The board does call the poor collaboration with the Employees' Council a 'major point for concern'. The Executive Board thinks the council should give its wholehearted support for collaboration with Wageningen UR before 20 June. Is that a make-or-break issue? 'No, there are no make-or-break issues', says spokesman Vink. 'But it needs to be clear beforehand whether the council intends to cooperate in implementing the jointly determined vision. The directors and management team have been working extremely hard on analyzing the problems and trying to find solutions that satisfy everyone, and they have invested in a new plan. The cooperation of the Employees' Council is crucially important.'