Between 18 and 24 May, elections take place for the student members of the University Council 2016-2017. All UG-students can vote via http://www.rug.nl/verkiezingen.
The meeting begins with an applause for the three former members of the University Council who were decorated by the King last week: Douwe Fokkinga, Jitse van Dijk and Jan Visser.
Financial Framework 2017-2020
The financial framework, including the financial policy of the University for the period 2017 - 2020 was discussed with the Board. In conformity with the agreements the University Council has right of consent, in outline, of the budget in the framework, and right to prior consultation on all other points.
The UCouncil expressed criticism in respect of four points:
1. The so-called base values. The Council has acquired more insight into recent changes in the base values, but how these values were set up initially, remains obscure. The Board has promised that if, in the future, there is a possibility of more transparency it will be used.
2. The distribution of monies over several years in relation to the right of consent. In accordance with the agreement the Council has the right of consent in respect of expenditure above € 500,000. The Council is of the opinion that this also applies to expenses that take place over several years and as result are less than € 500,000 per year. After a discussion the Board indicated to also support this interpretation.
3. In the Framework several real estate projects were mentioned with a financial explanation that was unclear. It appeared that these projects were already discussed last year with different Council members. For future frameworks, The Board will make more elaborate reference to earlier decisions.
4. The Council is of the opinion that it has right of consent in respect of all free disposable means, once these are over € 500.000. The Board is of the opinion that this only holds for public means, not for private means. Soon, the Board will discuss this issue in more detail with the Council.
These four points mainly concerned points of principle and not so much issues that were important for this framework; for instance, the Council was not against the expenses under point #2, but it did want acknowledgment of the fact that it has right of consent on this issue. After a promise by the Board to keep the discussion going on points 1 and 4, the Council agreed the framework. To this, Lijst Calimero added that it would like to see room in the budget for an improvement of the student-staff ratio.
International Student Barometer 2015
The results of the International Student Barometer were discussed. The Staff group pointed out that the RUG recommends SSH to international students and thus it has a moral duty to keep insisting on better accommodation with the SSH. Also, matters such as catering and career advice were discussed.
Lijst Calimero asked questions about the Yantai situation in response to the provisional pulling out of FEB. The Board indicated that an employee of FRW is to contribute to a business case of Yantai and that an employee of FEB will be involved because of his expertise. The fact that FEB has pulled out has no negative consequences for the budget and if there is a need in FRW an information meeting can be organised for FRW.
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