WAU's main environmental institute is the Centre for Environmental and Climate Studies (CMKW), which was established in 1990 to coordinate departmental research and education in this field. Its director, Professor Hordijk, has difficulty combining this task with his position as director of the WIMEK graduate school and his chair in Environmental System Analysis. In the future, Hordijk may resign from his CMKW directorship, if the centre can be accommodated within a department. The recognition of the centre should remain, explain employees, but fusing with a department could end the centre's restriction on research.
How ecological can Dutch agriculture be? This question will be discussed next week at a congress of the Royal Society for Agricultural Sciences. The keynote speakers say there are no technical limitations to organic agriculture, only economic ones. The Dutch consumer is not eager to pay more for organic products.
Since 1987 it has been possible to specialize in the field of recreation at WAU. However, this specialization is not part of one study programme and doesn't have a home department. For this reason, the specialization is badly represented during this era of reorganisation, budget cuts and new plans for education at the WAU. Everybody feels sorry that recreation falls between two stools, but no-one can be held accountable for its predicament.
The Dutch education unions are protesting against the Higher Education Plan of Education Minister Ritzen, which will affect the university staff's terms of employment. Twenty-five WAU-employees went to a union meeting in Deventer this week. The number of union members at the university has doubled in the past two years, and now stands at thirty percent of the total staff. Not only salaries, but also work pressure and the reduction of working hours are at stake.