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Dean Gerrit van Meer: “The situation has escalated.”

Gerrit van Meer, new dean of Beta Sciences, has described the current situation that has arisen from the controversial outlook document as ‘escalated’. Furthermore, he explained the future of the School should be discussed with staff to create support, which is essential.
Friday, January 7, 2011

(Utrecht) – Van Meer took office as the dean of the School of Physics and Astronomy this week and is already entangled in the struggle about the controversial the outlook document that should be the future of the school. Van Meer states the reserve funds from the past should be acknowledged when talking about the future of the school. Previous and substitution dean Van Ree has consciously only taken into account the debts while excluding the built up reserves.

Van Meer still stresses the outlook document should lead the future and it is important to keep in mind the agreements made with the University Board. What can be done though, is to discuss the way the intended results can be reached. If the resistance against the outlook document persists, we should seriously consider to renegotiate the previous agreements with the University Board.

The new dean is reluctant to say anything about the petition that was presented earlier during a protest. He will first need to enter talks with the departments and discuss the proposed and criticized economizations. Van Meer also doesn’t exclude the option of Casper Erkelens returning as department head, because he would like to discuss the matter with Erkelens first.

Van Meer is far from pleased with the actions of Van Ree by firing Erkelens as department head and finds the current situation to have escalated and opposes Van Ree’s decision by stating that “this should not have happened”. This is exactly the reason why the whole department turned against the board and this is something the new dean would like to turn around: “I did not become a dean to act as an enemy”.

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