News - September 29, 2011

Investigation and mediation in VHL conflict

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). Two weeks ago the executive board announced that an investigation would be carried out by an external expert.

It turned out to be the experienced Ten Have, a big name in organizational change management. 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.
Ten Have's report will determine the future of VHL within Wageningen UR. ‘Hiving off the applied sciences university is one of the options', wrote board chair Aalt Dijkhuizen in a letter on 13 September. Ten Have's consultancy bureau will interview staff and students individually over a period of six weeks. Then there will be group discussions. And all this should lead to a firm advice on the future of VHL.
Among VHL staff there are doubts about the need for this investigation. The participational council has said in an open letter that the large sum spent on an investigation of this kind, coming on top of the equally large sum spent on the ‘strategic discussion', would be better spent on education.
Besides the investigation by Ten Have, a move has also been made towards a resumption of dialogue between the VHL management and the suspended programme director Hans Van Rooijen. The parties, who have been at loggerheads, will come together with the support of a mediator. The aim of mediation is to keep Van Rooijen as programme director, says the executive board. LvdN
An extensive background article on the conflict at VHL can be here.