Student no longer welcome at consultation meetings
- Members of the management team feel that they are constrained by the presence of a student.
- Director Rob van Lamalgen: ‘It was an experiment, we learned from it.’
The management team of division Business, Media & Law (BMR) has decided for a premature ending to the experiment of a student member (an assessor) present during the MT-meetings. The experiment that started at the start of this year, would proceed until the summer vacation, and then be evaluated. The team however, decided to stop the experiment three months earlier.
Several Universities of Applied Sciences have been familiar with the phenomenon assessors – students who, based on their interests and expertise are allowed to join the management team to bring in the perspective of the students’ interests during a meeting. The ministry wanted to see more of these initiatives, so in fall last year Windesheim decided to join. At the beginning of this year the stimulator of this project, management secretary Astrid Metzelaar, found two divisions willing to start this experiment: Health Care and Social Work and Bussiness, Media & Law. There doesn’t seem to be any problems at Health Care and Social Work. The assessor at the BMR division, Lonneke Jacobs, is asked however to no longer participate.
It has nothing to do with her as a person, as BMR-director Rob van Lambalgen emphasises in a further explanation. It has to do with the team’s activities. During the meetings several sensitive issues are being discussed about departments, degree programmes and employees, sometimes in full detail, and various MT members did not feel comfortable with the presence of a student. Some felt constrained. ‘The conversations,’ thus Van Lambalgen, ‘therefore did not get the depth necessary.’ Or they were left behind all together. And the team members of course did not feel for discussing certain issues outside the regular scheduled meetings. So the decision had to be made to cease the experiment.
Van Lambalgen would in hindsight not call the experiment (and his willingness to participate) rash. “It was an experiment: something like this can happen. I think that we have learned from this.’ Is there no value in the presence of an assessor? Has Jacobs been a useful participant during other moments? Van Lambalgen does not want to answer that at this time: he would first like to discuss this with Jacobs. Based on that conversation the management team will provide the executive board with some recommendations, if one would decide that all divisions should consider appointing assessors. (MH)