The council was united in its judgement: they had insufficient information to give a recommendation on the looming reorganisation of the KVI-Centre for Advanced Radiation Technology, or KVI-CART.
The board of directors says the continuing loss of revenue means reorganisation is inevitable, as there is no promise of improvement. But they disagree at the KVI-CART. Staff say plans for improvement have been formulated, but that the current uncertainty is preventing these plans from being executed.
The RUG board also hopes that the Faculty of Science and Engineering and the UMCG will take over some of the research groups and technicians. The UMCG is currently looking into the option of taking over the outdated particle accelerator. But no one has committed to anything.
The council will be able to obtain further information about the finances, but the UMCG will take at least until March to come up with a decision. The council has asked for a two-month extension.
The board of directors only wants to defer the announcement by no more than one month. ‘It won’t change anything about the announcement itself. The KVI-CART will be dissolved. This is actually to the benefit of the staff’, said managing director Jan de Jeu. ‘They have been subjected to this uncertainty for too long. At a certain point you just have to get on with it.’
But the university council is making the same argument: the employees’ well-being comes first. ‘You may call this just an announcement, but it has real-world consequences’, says Dinie Bouwman with the personnel faction. ‘If the UMCG passes on the opportunity, we have no idea what will happen.’
In the end Jouke de Vries, president of the board of directors, provided a necessary compromise. ‘How about we we provide the financial information next month? And let’s ask the UMCG to have their report ready ahead of schedule? Let’s discuss the finances again in a month. And then we can decide if we need another month.’
The council consented to this proposal, although they had several added remarks. ‘People might think it’s the council that’s causing uncertainty and that they’re consenting to the procedure. But the fact that the announcement came to us the way it did isn’t our fault’, said Dirk-Jan Scheffer with the personnel faction.
Lawrence Gormley with the science faction said: ‘Our proposal comes after conferring with our colleagues at the KVI.’