Organisation - December 12, 2013

Communication services to be downsized

Rob Goossens

The Communication Services department (CS), which provides services for all of Wageningen UR, is to undergo a reorganization.

The department has to increase efficiency and needs to be better equipped to offer innovative forms of communication. This will require the sacrifice of almost half (26) of the 55 FTEs. At least, this is what the plan says that was approved by the Executive Board on 5 December, although the employees’ council still needs to give its formal opinion.

The idea is that the reorganization will produce a different type of organization, explains communications director Marc Lamers. ‘We always did a lot in-house but this meant we were out of touch with innovative forms of communication, such as social media, apps and video.’ Lamers bases this conclusion on a report produced this year by an internal committee, which he was on. The report talked about a ‘mismatch’ between what CS was offering and the demand within the organization. In addition the budget for commu­nications has fallen considerably in recent years, says Lamers, especially within DLO. As a result, CS ended up deep in the red.

The new CS will focus on advice, project management and editing. Other services will be provided by a ‘flexible layer’ of external suppliers. Lamers expects this will enable the department to deliver the quality and creativity that is needed. There will be a reappointment procedure for employees who no longer have a job in the new setup. However, Lamers does not rule out the possibility of redundancies.