Posted in Policy

New Year’s speech once again in Dutch, promises a lot.

Today’s New Year’s speech by Pauline van der Meer Mohr was held in Dutch causing the few international faculty to be excluded once again. The chair of the University Board made a lot of promises and did an effort to convince the attending staff that this year will be a good one, hinting the harsh cutbacks should not have a big impact.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

(Rotterdam) – Another speech at the so-called international Erasmus University of Rotterdam (EUR) that was held in the Dutch language. Last year’s speech also excluded the attending enthusiastic international staff. Pauline van der Meer Mohr of course addressed the harsh cutbacks that are planned this year, which for example “may cause 5000 job positions to disappear”. “That is why it is a good idea to attend tomorrow’s protests at Malieveld, The Hague”, she added.

Other items addressed is (1) the collaboration between the EUR, University of Leiden and the Technical University in Delft, (2) rewarding excellent students and faculty and those that make great accomplishments and (3) the so-called University College. Another big item – although said in Dutch – was the development of multinational research programs and the hunt for international partners to expand the network.

As a relative fresh University Board, Van Der Meer Mohr mentioned several accomplishments and what they are currently working on. Several new undergraduate programs should be considered, such as Pedagogy. The collaboration between the City of Rotterdam and the EUR is also an important accomplishment to improve research in for example Port Economics.

However, the item that took most of the time was the new campus development to spend over 50 million euro in times of harsh cutbacks. A joke was added about a part of a building that has already been renovated and lacked good drainage causing water problems. The hopes are high that to-come ‘nature-pools’ will collect rainwater in the future. Other aspects of the campus development are a new building that will house students, a temporary building to compensate for capacity lost during closure of other buildings and a durable campus in terms of energy and water.

The speech surprisingly ended with the song “happy new year” being performed by a singer.

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