Preference Executive Board for merging ESHCC and ESSB
Erasmus University Rotterdam wishes to strengthen its social sciences and humanities cluster. Merging the faculties of ESHCC and ESSB offers the opportunity to create a powerful humanities and social sciences faculty with an ambitious, substantive, interdisciplinary and distinctive agenda. The Executive Board expresses its preference for this scenario from the advisory report by the interim dean of ESHCC on the future of this faculty,
With the appointment of Professor Dymph van den Boom as an interim dean of Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC), she was asked by the Executive Board to draw up a plan with recommendations to strengthen the faculty. That advice was recently sent to the Executive Board.
After careful consideration of all options, the Executive Board expresses its preference for merging ESHCC with ESSB (Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences). This way, Erasmus University Rotterdam can strengthen its social sciences and humanities cluster. Merging the faculties of ESHCC (history, arts and culture studies, and media and communication) and ESSB (psychology, sociology, pedagogy, public administration and Erasmus University College) offers the opportunity to create a powerful humanities and social sciences faculty with an ambitious, substantive, interdisciplinary and distinctive agenda.
The ESSB Dean has now been asked to provide his opinion on this preferred scenario. After weighing up this view, the Executive Board takes an intended decision. The scenario will then be elaborated further.
Education and research
Firstly, in the Executive Board’s view, merging ESHCC and ESSB offers major opportunities for research and education cooperation. The research disciplines of both faculties are complementary in terms of content, and are mutually reinforcing. Research at ESHCC already includes elements from both the social sciences and the humanities. In terms of education, both faculties offer small-scale and activating programmes.
Joining forces will enable the development of new multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programmes. This is in the interests of students, staff and the social agenda as a whole. A combined humanities and social sciences faculty offers plenty of opportunities for interdisciplinary research with a social impact. All this means that merging the two faculties offers significant career opportunities for scientists in these disciplines.
Both faculties already cooperate closely in the Erasmus Initiative ‘Vital Cities and Citizens’, and in the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Merging ESHCC and ESSB offers major opportunities for research and education cooperation
Merging ESHCC and ESSB also fits in perfectly with the university’s new strategy, focused on contributing to solving social issues. Such an ambitious agenda requires interdisciplinary research and education.
A strong profile is also central to the new strategy. Combining the disciplines of ESSB and ESSHCC ensures a much greater visibility of Erasmus University in humanities and social sciences – and thus a stronger position, including internationally. A combined faculty with a unique Rotterdam profile has the potential to build a strong reputation.
A strong position is particularly important with a view to obtaining research funding, both in the Netherlands and in Brussels. More financial resources also make it more attractive for top (international) talent to come to Rotterdam.
The benefits of scale are also reflected in the pooling of financial resources and support, resulting in a robust faculty with sufficient human resources and infrastructure to make research and education possible to the fullest. The Executive Board is also prepared to invest substantially in the combined faculty.
The Executive Board is extremely aware that a planned merger between two faculties is a far-reaching process for both staff and students. This process will therefore be facilitated as well and as carefully as possible, in the interest of all parties concerned.
The Executive Board intends to work out a proposed reorganisation decision once the opinion of the ESSB Dean has been received. To create clarity for both staff and students as quickly as possible, the Executive Board prefers an abridged reorganisation procedure in case of a reorganisation, explicitly without compulsory redundancies.