Fragment from cover document housing strategy

Unhappy UCU council members refrain from taking further steps against university board

Body: 

Disappointing and unsatisfying. That’s how co-determination members of the University College Utrecht (UCU) council describe the university’s response to a critical letter about the participation possibilities in the new housing plan. Still, they’re not interested in escalating the conflict.

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In early October, five faculty councils and the UCU council sent a joint letter in which they voiced their dissatisfaction about the process that led to the university’s housing plan. They complained about the secrecy and confidentiality of a committee of select members of the University Council.

Later that month, the UU board responded that in its opinion, the participation process was done correctly. Some information, they said, was simply too sensitive to share in all openness.

The UCU co-determination members, who’d also taken the initiative for the joint letter with the faculty boards, are now writing a letter of their own. They’re doing this because they feel University College holds an extraordinary position within the university. The UCU campus is now being ‘sold like silverware’, according to the presidents of both the student and staff codetermination groups. The consequences of the housing plan don’t seem quite as drastic for other faculties.

The two presidents are extremely dissatisfied with the university board’s letter. According to them, the letter only repeats the arguments that the faculty council members had objected against previously. That’s why, in their response, they’re posing a large number of rebuttals and additional questions. “How was the University Council committee able to consider the interests of the faculties when the committee was expected not to talk about the process?”, is one of the things the UCU council members wonder.

Although the representatives of the UCU council feel like the UU did not act according to the ‘spirit’ of the higher education law, they have decided to refrain from taking further steps. They hope that both the university’s executive board and the university council realise the process of creating a housing plan wasn’t exactly exemplary. They also urge all department and faculty councils to keep a close eye on the next stages of the housing plan’s process. It’s up to the faculty boards at the moment: they’ve got to decide about the consequences of the new principles for the university’s corporate housing.

 

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