The Executive Board has appointed an independent committee to investigate the relationships between Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) and industry.

The reason for the enquiry is the Changerism reportA Pipeline of Ideas, which concluded that RSM is aiding climate change due to its close ties with the fossil fuel industry. As a result of various agreements, companies like Shell apparently exert an influence over the faculty’s curriculum.

Although the university and the faculty did not recognise themselves in the conclusions of the report, an independent enquiry was announced. “The enquiry by this independent committee must provide clarity regarding the situation. Erasmus University stands for independent research and education and adheres to the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Scientific Practice of the VSNU, the association of universities in the Netherlands. This must be complied with at all times,” a spokesperson from Erasmus University said in an email. So that enquiry is now starting.


The committee consists of the emeritus professors Gerard Mols (criminal law and criminology in Maastricht), Harmen Verbruggen (International Environmental Economics at VU Amsterdam) and Hans Kuijl (business economics in Leiden and Maastricht). It has already started its investigation, although it is not yet known when it will be completed.

Besides an independent enquiry, a ‘corporate register’ will also be introduced at RSM, in which all agreements with companies will be published. The register, which will probably be made public in the first quarter of 2018, contains information about the parties involved, the goal and form of the relationship, the desired results and the lead time.