8 July 2019

Executive Board promises University Council to protect alfa/gamma faculties

Universiteitsraad 2018-2019

Code of conduct for student organisations

The proposed Code of Conduct for student organisations has been voted down by the University Council with six votes in favour and sixteen votes against. The exact status of the document had not become clear enough for a majority of the council. There were also some concerns about the added value of a code of conduct since many student organisations have already signed other codes of conduct. 

Professionalisation of student/employee representation

The University Council and Executive Board reached an agreement on the minimum number of working hours for Faculty Councils and assessors. Starting next September, the student members of Faculty Councils with less than twenty members will get a minimum of six hours per week. These members are now also allowed to vote on their own minimum number of hours. Assessors are upgraded to a minimum of sixteen working hours. This is a significant improvement for the assessors of the Faculties Law, Economics and Governance and Veterinary Medicine. The assessor of UCU even doubles his number of working hours.

Framework letter

In this University Council period the framework letter is presented to the council. It was asked to agree upon several changes in the budgets for, among others, communication and marketing, information technology services (ITS) and housing. One of the key things that the council had to reach an agreement about with the board is the distribution of the budgets between housing, support and research and education.

In the first version of the framework letter, the “study point budget” was showing a declining tendency. The board attempted to repair this by adding 8M euro from their free reserve. The council asked to increase this budget in the financial committee meeting to make sure enough money was available for research and education. Due to a budget letter by the government this request was honored and in the next meeting the council came to an agreement with the board to use the 8M euro that became available as a reservation for future budget re-allocations as a consequence of the committee Van Rijn. Indeed, the suggestions made by this committee would lead to a significant increase in the budgets for the beta faculties at the expense of the budgets for alfa/gamma/medical faculties. Despite the anticipated national reallocation, the lumpsum budget distribution model gives the universities the freedom to internally redistribute the available money in different way. The board, upon questions of the council, repeatedly confirmed that it will protect the alfa/gamma faculty budgets. Although exact plans are not yet clear, the University Council will be asked to agree upon the new budget allocation model in the next year.

Next to that, the council was asked to agree upon an additional budget for communication and marketing. After a meeting with Monique Mourits, the head of Communication & Marketing, the council had a clear view of the purposes for which the additional budget was needed and although the council had some concerns it agreed to increase the yearly budget with almost half a million euro.

The University Council had significant concerns about the requested elementary increase in both the investment budget for IT (1.8M) and the requested yearly increase of the ITS budget of 6% for at least the forthcoming 3 years. Concrete plans that would explain why this additional budget would be needed and what the consequences would be if these increases were not granted, were not available. The council could not accept that again, money would be allocated to ITS without more detailed plans. In a lively meeting with two suspensions, the board withdrew from the framework letter the intentions to increase the ITS budget with 6%. For the additional budget ITS can make budget plans which will be added to the budget in December.