Change management expert Steven ten Have has been tasked with finding out whether there is sufficient support among staff for current policy at Van Hall Larenstein (VHL). The investigation was announced last week by the Board of Directors following an escalation in the ongoing conflict with the VHL staff. Ten Have’s report will determine the future of VHL within Wageningen UR. ‘Hiving off the University of Applied Sciences is an option,’ wrote board chairman Aalt Dijkhuizen in an open letter on 13 September.
Starting this week, Ten Have's management consultancy firm will conduct six weeks of individual talks with staff and students followed by a number of group discussions. Together these will result in a final advice on the future of VHL. Ten Have is a big name in the business of change management in organisations. He is professor of change management at the VU University Amsterdam and holds positions on the board of directors at CITO, AMN-AMBRO and the football club Ajax.
There has been dissatisfaction within VHL over current policy for some time. This sentiment came to light most clearly following the suspension of the director of education Hans van Rooijen for an alleged lack of loyalty. At the start of September staff organised an alternative opening ceremony at the institute's Velp offices, leading the board to cancel the official ceremony which was set to be held in Leeuwarden.