The university's executive board has indicated that some 20 of the 110 departmental chair positions will have to be abolished due to the cuts. Double chairs are the main target, where there are two professors working in the same department. A selection of the single chairs which will also disappear includes: Geology (Kroonenberg), Animal Taxonomy (Post) and Soil Tillage (Perdok). Among the double chairs to go are Plant Physiology, Plant Morphology, Physical and Colloid Chemistry, Developmental Biology, Neurophysiology, Agricultural Economics and Policy, Sociological Development Planning, Land Use, Agronomy, Forestry and Dairy Processing. Despite the cuts the executive board has come up with a proposal for some new chairs of a more multidisciplinary nature.
Despite the cuts being forced upon the universities, it appears that the students will be even bigger losers under the cabinet's recently proposed measures. After cutting one billion guilders from student grants in September last year, Minister of Education Ritzen wants to increase students' tuition fees by 1000 guilders in September this year. The government has now partially reversed this decision after student protests and negotiations between the student unions and the universities. The exact increase in tuition fees should be known by the end of January.
Since the privatization of the Dutch Post Office there has been a burgeoning of local post and newspaper delivery services in many places. In Wageningen there is now Stadspost. Last year the university started to use this service to deliver its printed matter including the WUB. However, since two bags of post were found abandoned in the bushes, the university has cancelled its contract with the local courier.
In December Etienne de Meijer obtained his PhD with a thesis on the characteristics of hemp. Hemp (cannabis) can be smoked in the form of hash or marijuana, but agronomists are interested in the quality of hemp fibres for paper production. This group has tried to minimize the amount of psycho-active components THC and CBD in the hemp they produce, but according to de Meijer this is unnecessary. Dutch hemp growers who cultivate under glass produce much higher concentrations of THC, but the only result of smoking hemp fibre is a headache.