Posted in External

Univ. Utrecht fires Department Head.

Substitution Dean Jan van Ree has fired Casper Erkelens, department head of the Physics department at the University of Utrecht. The sole reason for this is Erkelens refused to sign the new outlook-document (‘visiedocument’) which has received a lot of criticism.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

(Utrecht) – At the university of Utrecht the substitution dean Jan van Ree has already received a lot of criticism and had to talk to an angry mob in the School’s Council several times now. The whole fuss is about the task of Jan van Ree to pass the very controversial outlook-document. One of the harsh measures is to discontinue a program similar to Economics & Informatics called ‘Informatiekunde’. Students have launched a website and opened a petition as a protest against Jan van Ree and to save the successful program. The website can be found here. The petition held a total of 463 signatures but unfortunately Jan van Ree refused to listen to the students.

Five other department heads are said to have signed the document. Prospective dean Van Meer claims that the document does not hold any harsh measures, but argues that it describes the future in big lines and that the details are yet to be discussed. He furthermore claims that some ‘parts’, as in programs, will be repositioned outside of physics and that this is something different from termination or discontinuation.

The first reactions on this is news is very negative and many members of the faculty and students have posed critical questions. The five department heads that have signed the document have immediately come up with a shared reaction: “We find this unbelievable, we will fully back Casper Erkelens and will let the substitution and future dean know this as soon as possible.”

For more information read the interview with Casper Erkelens (in Dutch) in which he explains why he is skeptical about the outlook document holds .

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