WUR chairman of the board Aalt Dijkhuizen warned in his new year’s speech to staff at head office that 2004 is likely to be a difficult year, especially for the research institutes.
“The government cuts are coming quicker than we would have liked, and the turnover we will lose as a result will be difficult to compensate.” Dijkhuizen envisages cost savings by reducing the use of consultants. “They are not cheap and we have to make sure there is work for our own people.” On the management side, the structure of Wageningen UR needs simplifying and the number of meetings that take place can be reduced. “So don’t go and have a meeting to decide whether it’s possible to have fewer meetings. Just do it,” was his message.
Dijkhuizen hopes that the joining of forces within the Sciences Groups will attract big research contracts and therefore money, especially from the EU. The research institutes that are currently facing difficulties will have until 2006 to sort their financial problems out. | K.V.