In late June, the Executive Board withdrew a restructuring plan involving a merger between ESHCC and the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB), drawn up by former ESHCC interim dean Dymph van den Boom. Van den Boom’s successor, Frank van der Duijn Schouten, revived the merger plans after the summer, believing that a merger with ESSB was the best possible solution, although he brought up a merger with the Erasmus School of Philosophy as a possible alternative.

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The troubled year of the ESHCC

It is - and this has been said carefully - a difficult year for the ESHCC faculty. First…

‘The stand-alone scenario’

The ‘stand-alone scenario’, as the Executive Board calls it, resulted from conversations with the deans of the three faculties involved. “Taking into consideration the three recommendations we have received, we have arrived at the conclusion that a partial or complete merger of ESHCC with ESSB and/or ESPhil is not fully supported by the faculties,” the Executive Board stated. The Board did express a hope that the various departments will collaborate more closely in the future, but said that an administrative merger would not contribute to this process ‘at the present time’.

The Executive Board indicated that it had observed several positive changes at ESHCC, quoting the following examples: ‘requisite improvements in ESHCC’s internal administration, governance and leadership’, as well as improved enrolment figures.

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External bureau investigating plagiarism leak at ESHCC

The Executive Board ‘received indications’ that members of ESHCC’s staff could be…

Troubled year

“We are aware that 2019 was a tumultuous year for all parties involved, particularly for the ESHCC community,” the university’s Executive Board said in a statement. “We hope that our decision to focus on the stand-alone scenario for ESHCC, including a search for a new dean, will provide all parties involved with some clarity.”

2019 was definitely a troubled year for ESHCC. Three quarters of the faculty’s employees signed a letter protesting a merger, twelve staff members of the History department stated that they no longer had any faith in the faculty’s heads of the departments, and the dean, Dymph van den Boom, was accused of plagiarism by NRC Handelsblad. After the summer, the faculty’s staff were shocked to hear that an external forensic science agency was investigating employees’ email in- and outboxes. The Executive Board had ‘received some tip-offs’ saying that the plagiarism accusations levelled at the former dean had originated from ESHCC employees. The investigation proved inconclusive, and a second investigation resulted in the statement that while Van den Boom had been ‘sloppy’, she had not actually committed plagiarism.

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