Posted in Policy

Dean Franses proposes to dispose Economics & ICT.

Dean Franses sent out a letter to the School’s Council asking to discuss the matter of disposing the Economics & ICT master program of Economics & Informatics (E&I). This comes only about 2 years after the Bachelor program was ditched under high pressure from the dean even though much resistance arose back then.
Thursday, January 20, 2011

(Rotterdam) – In his letter, dean Philip H. Franses asks the School’s Council to discuss the matter of the ‘difficult’ current situation in which the Economics & ICT master program currently resides and advices to ditch the program because the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) may not be able to provide high-quality teachers. Although the letter can be considered shocking, it did not surprise as he saw this coming more than 2 years ago. His first reaction: “duh… if you get rid of all firemen there won’t be anyone to respond to fires” and “if you ditch machinery, you can’t use them”.

On a blog, that closed over a year ago, he wrote that “from a pure technical managerial view they put too much effort and pressure in terminating the Bachelor Economics & Informatics program, pushing all resistance out of the way and put no effort at all in how to create a future for the two master programs” and that “this is a significant clue the dean has got no interest whatsoever in keeping the master programs alive” adding “I will give my life if in the next 3 to 4 years at least one of the master programs will cease to exist”.

The council member’s conclusion back then was that from a pure managerial point of view no effort was put in a feasible future and had even multiple times warned manager Wouter van der Brink and program director/vice-dean Ivo Arnold to carefully plan a future, but they did not listen. gave the example: “when you wish to move, you first find and buy yourself a new house before selling and moving out of your old one… right? Or does the dean have another opinion?”

From a logical point of view this could have been predicted, as specialized teachers continued to leave the ESE and were not replaced, causing serious problems in facilitating courses and supervising thesis projects. More and more (expensive) teachers had to be hired from outside the ESE and some courses were even taught by a fresh Master student. First reactions from faculty involved in the E&I programs are not very positive and basically say “the letter has taken their doubt away whether or not management was playing filthy games with us” and that “two years ago the dean praised the E&I masters for its research and output of many PhD students, and now he portrays the program as being insignificant”.

already made new predictions: the letter will cause resistance again, only this time it will be much less as many teachers already left the ESE because of great dissatisfaction and that the dean will do anything in his power to get done whatever he wants, just as the previous time.

The letter mentioned above can be downloaded by clicking here (letter is written in Dutch).

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