Science - March 4, 2004

Education institute board resigns

The board of the Education Institute (OWI) for Social Sciences has handed in its resignation to the Executive Board. According to the OWI board this is the result of a crisis in confidence. The OWI has been placed directly under the Executive Board.

According to University Rector Professor Bert Speelman there was no longer a relationship of trust between the Executive Board and the OWI. “At the time I put it to them: either you break off the relationship, or we break off the engagement,” the Rector said. The OWI board had decided not to resign but to try and find new people for the board. The institute had sent a letter to the Executive Board requesting that the introduction of the new BSc courses be postponed. The Executive Board had already rejected this proposal before they received the letter from OWI.

In the end the OWI board sent a letter to the Executive Board requesting immediate suspension from its duties because the OWI board was of the opinion that the Executive Board did not take notice of the institute’s advice. The OWI board added that the decision-making process was not transparent and it is angry that the Executive Board does not make use of the formal communication channels. The ex-board members have also requested that a new board is appointed quickly.

Speelman however, is not planning to appoint a new OWI board. The Rector has indicated that work will continue with through the course coordinators and the people who are already involved in setting up the new courses. “There is a high level of commitment,” said Speelman. “We can’t live from boards, but we can live from work.” According to the Rector there is a project group led by Professor Jos Metz and Paul Deneer that is writing a plan for forming one overarching education institute. Speelman believes this will lead to optimal use of the matrix structure, more flexibility and wider choices for students. The current situation will remain until things can change or the new structure is introduced, according to the Rector.

Guido van Hofwegen

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