“At the moment, the Executive Board doesn’t want to put extra pressure on the faculty community”, says a university spokesperson via e-mail. The main reason for dropping the investigation is that it could create further anxiety within the faculty. “I think it will only add to the commotion. And I wonder if Berenschot could actually find out anything we don’t know already”, explains Van der Duijn Schouten. “Right now, another third-party investigation in which the faculty is once again under the microscope doesn’t serve a purpose.” The dean is referring to the recent – and unannounced – investigation by Hoffmann Bedrijfsrecherche, which combed through staff members’ e-mails in search of a possible leak in the plagiarism case surrounding former interim dean Dymph van den Boom.
'Tensions and divsion'
In June, the Executive Board announced it would be commissioning a study into the faculty culture at ESHCC. It had decided to do so in response to ‘clear signs of tensions and division’. This study would initially get underway in July. In September, the Board announced that the Berenschot consultancy would start on the study in the autumn. And now it has been called off altogether.
Rather than scrutinising the faculty culture, Van der Duijn Schouten will conduct an additional employee survey to investigate the working environment. That investigation will take place around the summer of 2020.