Human Movement & Education back on track

Division has rounded off the strategic shrinkage plan

  • Research brought back to one research centre for which employees are brought in on loan
  • Director Bert Meijer: ‘our financial situation is good. The influx looks positive.’

It has already been over a year since the division of Human Movement & Education suffered severe financial trouble. Director Bert Meijer: ‘We already had a large gap to fill in our budget and the summer following the collaboration with the HU (University of Applied Science Utrecht) fell through. And, with the recalculation by the IPA calculation system, the budget shrank by another one million.’

A strategic shrinkage plan, consisting of three waves, was created to stabilize the financial situation. Temporary contracts were not extended while permanent employees were told that they might have to be relocated. Meijer: ‘It was tough on the department, not only for myself but also for the management team. I had the conversations personally, and I saw the sadness. People who were forced to leave also had to leave their wonderful research. I could feel the loss, but I simply did not have the resources to meet people’s wishes.’

Together with the unit participation council, ‘large steps were made’, according to Meijer. The management team had to win back the confidence of many teams. The heaviest blow was taken by the research department, which, in anticipation of the collaboration with the HU, had been sized up and needed a thorough reorganization. Meijer: ‘We now have a research centre to which all professorships are connected and for which employees are brought in on loan. I believe that it will run well and also that the work field and divisions are now more involved with the research themes.’

The shrinkage plan was rounded off on September 1st. The shrinkage goals for 2017 will be met. ‘Our financial situation is good and the influx looks positive. I will not, however, report on anything until everything is clear. We made a serious mistake on that matter last year.’ (MH)

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