Most budget managers at WAU don't know how much they have earned or what expenses they have made over the past four months. The new financial administration system, Millennium, is not working properly. Financial manager John Schuilenburg says the problems will be solved within a few months. He admits he underestimated the complexity of implementing Millennium. Critics say WAU has bought the wrong administration system; it is too complex, slow and old-fashioned.
WAU's Department of Theoretical Production Ecology is one of the world leaders in system analysis of crop production. However, its computer models are hardly of use to Dutch farmers, criticized agronomist Maarten Stapper a month ago, because the department makes not attempt to integrate farmers' questions in its models. Professor Rudy Rabbinge disagrees completely with Stapper: We do cooperate with farmers and want to cross borders between fundamental, strategic and applied research. But our task is to provide universal statements about crops and their environment."
Wageningen will welcome 150 scientists from all over the world, who are to present papers during the congress Agrarian Questions at the IAC between the 22th and 24th of May. We want to set out a new agenda for political-economic research in agriculture, which addresses the enormous diversity in agriculture", says organiser Jos Mooij. The ANC struggles with land reforms, some scientists point out during a special workshop on South-Africa: it has to navigate a course between its election promises and its policy of reconciliation towards the white farmers. In China, Vietnam and Taiwan, farmers are in need of sales units, in order to meet the demands of the world market.
The Departments of Economics and Management Studies want to start a Master of Business Administration programme at WAU. Professor Beulens wants to train top managers for agri-business. Other MBA-programmes in The Netherlands are not worried about the WAU initiative. Together with the university in Rotterdam we are top of the bill", says a manager at the Nijenrode Institute. The top courses have very good and expensive lecturers and select only the best students. Lecturers with a good theoretical basis and knowledge of agriculture are scarce and expensive", says a professor in Rotterdam. Wageningen will have to invest a lot of money to present a good course." WAU's Executive Board has yet to decide whether to invest money in the MBA course.