There has been an increasing number of complaints from many University departments about the declining standards of cleaning in the buildings. This is the result of the recently introduced new cleaning system, whereby offices are no longer cleaned every day. The Domestic Services of the University are required to reduce their spending by a further 350,000 guilders, despite the fact that the budget has already been cut by a quarter (1.4 million guilders) over the period 1986 - 1991. The head of the cleaning services indicated that for the 150 cleaners, most of whom are women, there is little room left for pride in their work.
One of the 20 Chairs that the Executive Board plan to abolish in its new Chair Plan is that of Animal Taxonomy. Complaints about the abolition of this post have been received from biologists both inside and outside the university. A biology degree without a course on animal taxonomy is crazy", says evolutionary biologist Menken from Amsterdam. Evolution must form the main thread of any degree for biologists." According to Wageningen plant physiologist Schoonhoven the tragedy is that taxonomy requires such little work." The WAU chair in Animal Taxonomy, Englishman Rory Post, wants to save the department by merging with Plant Taxonomy.
In order to reduce the manure surplus in the Netherlands the use of the enzyme Phytase in animal feed was introduced in 1991. It was believed that Phytase make the phosphorus found in plant material available for digestion in single-stomached animals. The Central Statistical Bureau (CBS) concluded recently, however, that the addition of Phytase to animal feed does not work; there was no reduction in the manure surplus during 1992 and 1993, despite the fact that Phytase was introduced in 1991. According to feed manufacturers the reason that Phytase is not effective is that it is present in too small quantities in the feed.
A comprehensive study on the effects of electromagnetic fields on the health employees of electricity companies was published this week. It concludes that exposure to high rates of electricity increases the chance of developing brain tumours. WAU researcher Dr. H. Kromhout, who has been involved in the research, believes that the Dutch Health and Safety Authorities can now establish maximum limits for exposure of workers in the electricity industry. The Health and Safety Commission claims that the relation between electricity and illnesses has not yet been proved sufficiently.