Last month both Faculty Councils voted against the proposed merger. At ESHCC, close to three quarters of the staff signed a letter opposing the merger. These developments, combined with an article in NRC Handelsblad claiming plagiarism committed by the recently departed ESHCC dean, contributed to public disagreement between staff members. At ESSB, the staff mainly seemed reluctant to become the bedfellows of such a restless faculty.
Nevertheless, the Executive Board concluded that there is “widespread support for a strong cluster of Social Sciences and Humanities programmes”. However, “a formal merger would not be in the interest of this shared ambition”. With this in mind, the Board will not be submitting its plan to the University Council for endorsement. The University Council has the right of assent regarding the merger of existing faculties.
Last week it already became clear that the plan wouldn’t be included on the University Council’s agenda for its last meeting before the summer. The EB had missed the final deadline for submitting the relevant documents to the Council. This was accompanied by complete radio silence on the Board’s part. The two Faculty Councils had no idea what the Board made of their recommendations. Nor had the University Council been notified that no documents were forthcoming. Last Friday the Executive Board finally shared its considerations with the ESSB Faculty Council. Their ESHCC counterparts had not received any updates at the time of writing.