Interim-Dean Dymph van den Boom from the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) has written a draft advice, that contains three possible directions to make her faculty ‘more robust’. The plan to merge with big brother Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (ESSB) seems to have the preference of Van den Boom and the university’s Executive Board.

Department not in favour


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Many questions still remain to be answered about intended ESHCC-ESSB merger

Staff at ESHCC and ESSB are preoccupied with rumours and discussions regarding a possible…

At the ESSB, enthusiasm for such a merger seems to be lacking. The letter against the merger is an initiative of the board members of the Department for Psychology, Education and Child Studies (DPECS), one of the two departments within the ESSB, is endorsed by 48 employees of the department.

According to the authors of the letter, it is unclear what problem the merger would solve. They also refer to the recent reorganisation at the ESSB. “The dust has hardly cleared since”, they write. They fear that the faculty will be ‘far too broad’ after the merger, with a third of all EUR’s Bachelor’s degree programmes within the faculty. “The human dimension will be completely lost,” the writers conclude. Due to the larger size of the faculty, they also expect that the participatory bodies will be ‘greatly weakened’, because it will no longer be possible to represent all disciplines. And the differences between both faculties in the field of ​​didactics, educational culture and publication standards are great, they write. Finally, they are worried that the merger will create an ‘even greater imbalance’ in the size of faculties, especially with regard to the very small Erasmus School of Philosophy. To a large extent, the objections in the letter overlap with those of ESHCC employees.

'More pragmatic'

The board of the other department within ESSB, Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS), has not signed the letter, said chairman Romke van der Veen. “We are more pragmatic towards the merger, I think. But there are problems that we have to solve first.” According to Van der Veen, there is discussion with the Executive Board about finances, all sorts of preconditions and how to fit ‘small’ (ESHCC) into ‘large’ (ESSB). “You have to think very carefully about that. Nobody should experience any disadvantages in the workplace, due to the merger. But we won’t say a definitive no at this stage. ”

On Tuesday, rector magnificus Rutger Engels said to the University Council that he doesn’t want to discuss the merger in detail before it has moved forward within the faculties. “With the draft advice, Van den Boom purposefully entered into a discussion with the staff. That discussion is taking place now, and that is a good thing. The most important goal is that ultimately, the humanities will get the best possible position within this university. “