Kees Slingerland is not reappointed as director of the Environmental Sciences Group (ESG). All professors holding a chair in the science group have stated that they no longer have confidence in Slingerland.
The Executive Board is looking for a new managing director for the Environmental Sciences Group with effect from 1 June 2015.
The Executive Board and Slingerland have decided it is time for a new style. Slingerland’s second term in office is due to end in May and the Executive Board had asked various groups – directors, employee councils and professors – for advice on whether he should stay on as ESG director for another four-year term. In amicable agreement with Slingerland, the decision was taken not to reappoint him.
The science group’s professors applaud the decision, says Lijbert Brussaard, professor of Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality. But he still has one urgent question: will Slingerland sit out his term as managing director? This is because all the ESG professors holding a chair passed a resolution of no confidence in Slingerland several weeks ago. The professors are embroiled in a conflict with Slingerland about how the group is managed.
Slingerland says there was an unfortunate incident concerning the 2015 budget, but he does not think that would prevent him from finishing his term of office. ‘A breach of confidence is not nice but I see it as just an incident. I think we should be able to come to good working arrangements for the next few months so that I can finish this term on a positive note. Because my personal relationship with the professors is good.’
BREACH OF CONFIDENCE
Brussaard, who acts as the spokesman for the 18 professors in the Department of Environmental Sciences, is not convinced. Communication with Slingerland has become so difficult that the professors are unanimously calling it an ‘irreversible breach of confidence’. Given this atmosphere, the professors are wondering how they can come to good working arrangements with the ESG director for the next six months.
At present, the Executive Board is still assuming Slingerland will finish his term as ESG director. ‘The Executive Board has seen what the professors have to say about Slingerland in the context of his reappointment,’ says spokesman Marc Lamers. ‘That decision by the Executive Board’s is a choice for the future.’