Organisation - February 4, 2010

'VHL Leeuwarden programme director banned from speaking out'

Hans Hardus allegedly had to agree to strategy memo. General director Ellen Marks denies speaking ban.

Hans Hardus, programme director for Animal Management and Coastal and Marine Management at Van Hall Larenstein in Leeuwarden, has been banned from speaking out. That is what staff in his team are claiming. The programme director is refraining from giving comment.
His staff say Hardus expressed criticism about the content of the VHL Ahead strategy process on behalf of his programme teams. Apparently, general director Ellen Marks explained to him during a job appraisal interview that he would have to give full support to the strategy plans without criticizing them. What is more, he was apparently banned from speaking out.
The staff members wish to remain anonymous. 'It is all causing quite a stir here in Leeuwarden but people don't dare talk any more. During the staff meeting about VHL Ahead, the management had the nerve to say that all input from staff members via the programme directors was welcome. But our programme director, who is very successful, is not allowed to give feedback. You get the impression it's only positive reactions to VHL Ahead that are welcome', says one of the staff members.
The University of Applied Sciences director Ellen Marks says she does not agree with this version of events. 'I don't know who is supposed to have imposed this ban on speaking. We did indeed have a job appraisal interview. I suggested then that we should keep what we discussed and are due to discuss in our next interview to ourselves for the moment', is Marks' reaction.
Karin van der Borght, a member of the Van Hall Institute employees' consultative body (MR), says the MR cannot take a position regarding the apparent ban on speaking out based on circulating rumours. 'The MR has not had any confirmed report. But should the rumours be true, then the MR disapproves strongly of how things have been handled.' 
 

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