The proposed separation of the joint UvA-HvA Executive Board was rejected during a general meeting (GV) of the works council and the students’ council of the UvA, held last week. On Tuesday, the HvA voted in favour of the separation during a meeting of its central participatory council (CMR).
If the UvA-HvA Executive Board separates, the two new boards would likely still share the Administrative Centre (AC), the Facility Services (FS), ICT Services (ICTS) and libraries. Both councils – the GV and the CMR – voted on a package of five different issues including whether to separate the service departments, seemingly the defining issue of the vote. Both Student Service departments of the UvA-HvA, which operate as separate departments in the current arrangement, are excluded from the proposal.
Explanations of vote
The UvA GV contains 30 members, 28 of whom were present during the secret ballot on December 16. Prior to the ballot, some members of the GV took the opportunity to warn the council of the negative effects of a full separation, including council members Breanndán Ó Nualláin (‘The Executive Board of UvA-HvA is not able or prepared to give more information than we now have’), Jaap Maat (‘The Executive Board has chosen the wrong route’) and Tjapko van Noort (‘I don’t know very much about the issue so I will vote against’). Council members such as David Jan Donner, Piet Rodenburg, Maurice Koster and Mark Dzoljic voted against the proposal of the Executive Board, whereas Gerwin Wezelman, Gerwin van der Pol, Tijmen de Vos, Ali Yürtseven and Daan Doeleman argued for the proposal. In all, 13 members had voted against the separation with 10 voting in favour. Four council members abstained and one cast a blank ballot.
The CMR of the HvA, on the other hand, went to the ballot box on December 20 and voted overwhelmingly in favour of the separation of the board, while voting to keep the shared service departments as one. Prior to the ballot, Geert ten Dam, president of the Executive Board and HvA provost Huib de Jong gave arguments for and against keeping the shared service departments together but ultimately recommended they remain one (Ten Dam: ‘If the four departments are split up this will require four reorganisations.’) Ten Dam did, however, promise to keep a close eye on the situation and to deliver a plan as to how the four departments would work under a split Executive Board. Provost Huib de Jong appealed to the members of the CMR ‘to vote in favour of our HvA,’ an appeal seemingly interpreted by the council as encouragement to vote in favour of the entire proposal, including keeping the shared service departments together. When the ballots were cast, 21 members voted in favour, one casted a blank ballot and two abstained.
It is now up to the Executive Board to come up with a creative solution, bearing in mind that both the GV and CMR would be required to give green light. The official split of the UvA-HvA board was initially expected on January 1, 2017 but is now postponed until further notice.