Nieuws - 28 januari 2010

Future of Rural History uncertain till the summer

The Wageningen professor of Rural History Pim Kooij has since 1 January retired to emeritus status. Whether a successor will be appointed will only be known this summer.

The Social Sciences Group is currently reviewing its chair group plan: which chairs will stay and which not, which teaching assignments need to be modified, and what new chairs should be established.
Kooij, a part-time professor in Wageningen, also had a part-time appointment in Groningen. The university wants to have a full-time professor in his place. As such, the combination with Groningen is no longer possible. 'We cannot imagine a university without history', says SSG director Ruud Huirne. However, a chair group teeming with completeness is also unlikely. History needs to search again for a viable combination with another university. In the meantime, the historians have been brought under Prof. Arthur Mol of the Environmental Sociology group.
More changes loom ahead in the Leeuwenborch building. A restructuring committee will examine the teaching assignments of the Agrarian Politics and Rural Policy group, now that Arie Oskam is a retired emeritus. In addition, Paul Richards, professor of Technology and Agrarian Development, will reach retirement age in the summer. Some ten professors will stop serving in SSG in the next four years due to retirement, says Huirne. It will become clearer in the coming months if successors are to be found and how. He is seizing this opportunity to cluster teaching assignments and researchers into bigger units.
Other sciences groups are also re-examining their chair groups. They will submit their proposals to the rector magnificus Martin Kropff in mid-March. Kropff will present a new plan for chair groups some time in the summer.