The Executive Board discussed its new strategic plan yesterday morning at the Social Sciences Group, which is being seen chiefly as a means to market technology.
On the other hand, without this link, Wageningen technologists would find themselves further away from society. In reply, communication scientist Cees Leeuwis remarks that while the Leeuwenborch has expertise for integrating scientific disciplines, much of this is left unused. And philosopher Michiel Korthals laments the fact that he does not get to teach ethics in Biology.
The merging of chair groups has also instilled fear into the group. The Leeuwenborch comprises many small chair groups covering many subjects, such as economics, business studies, communications, law and environmental policy. These will be merged in the next four years into clusters. Their existence has therefore become a subject of debate. 'Stimulating top groups at the cost of smaller ones', is how economist Ekko van Ierland puts it. He finds that new small groups in particular should be given support as well. Rector Martin Kropff in fact thinks that a cluster of smaller groups can easily adopt a new small group. Philosopher Korthals voices his doubts about joining forces in giving lectures. 'I don't think it's desirable to partner an economist in teaching a philosophy subject', he says. 'That's right; let the cobbler stick to his last', echoes the audience.
During this week and the next, the Executive Board makes the rounds of the organization with its strategic plans for 2011-2014. Resource reports on each session.