Reorganization plan BEST seems to be heading towards approval, it seemed today in the Executive Committee meeting. Four factions (AbvaKabo, Onafhankelijken, SAM en Front) said that they have a positive attitude towards the plan, and TiU international even advised positive. Still, there are some aspects of the plan that raise questions. Like the digitalization of education, the scientific staff/supporting staff ratio and the lack of staff at the Studentdesk and Academic Forum.
Academic Forum is a small and independent organization at Tilburg University. It organizes symposiums, debates and small exchanges around scientific, social and philosophical topics. Examples are Meet the World and Model United Nations. In short, Academic Forum serves the Bildung that the Ministry of Education wants for students in the Netherlands. Right now, Academic Forum is placed under Student Services, but after BEST it could be placed under the Marketing and Communcations Office.
In this morning’s Executive Committee meeting, questions were asked about this. Employee factions AbvaKabo and the Onafhankelijken asked why the employees weren’t consulted before this decision. Besides that, Onafhankelijken wants to know why Academic Forum is placed under communication. Both factions wonder if there will be an autonomic supervisor for Academic Forum, so that some independence is guaranteed.
Academic forum organizes events around topics that the university could disagree on, like the debates about the New University. In such a case it could be conflicting to be working directly under the head of communications. A supervisor could form a buffer between the head of communications and the Academic Forum employees.
The Executive Board and BEST-manager Hans Dieteren said that there is only 3.6 FTE worth of employees at Academic Forum and that the reasons for choosing for Communications and Marketing are in the reorganization plan. Still, the factions were not satisfied. AbvaKabo: “We know what happens to departments without supervisors by now, they disappear rapidly.”
The Board promised that the members of all factions receive a memo about Academic Forum before the University Council meeting this Friday. Next to that, the Board promised to send an overview of the most important changes in the reorganization plan, the scientific staff/supporting staff ratio and the numbers on permanent and temporary staff. Next Friday, the decision about BEST will be made in the University Council meeting.
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