The Executive Boards of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and VU University Amsterdam (VU) have received the explanation of the voting result of the UvA's Joint Meeting with regard to the Amsterdam Faculty of Science (AFS). The Joint Meeting does not oppose collaboration between the science faculties, but it does object to the exact form this collaboration will take.
Nevertheless, support for the plan to create a strong science cluster in the city of Amsterdam has been voiced by the representative advisory bodies of the UvA and VU. The Executive Boards appreciate this position and view it as a basis for continuing discussions with the representative advisory bodies of both institutions.
On 20 December 2013, the Joint Meeting of the UvA decided to withhold its endorsement of the intended decision to merge the science faculties of the VU (FALW and FEW) and UvA (FNWI) in the joint Amsterdam Faculty of Science (AFS). On 23 January 2014, the Joint Meeting explained its decision in a letter. On 18 December 2013, the Joint Meeting of the VU and the VU's Executive Board reached agreement on the conditions applicable to collaboration between the science faculties.
In the coming weeks, the UvA and VU will start taking the steps necessary to create a strong science cluster. The institutions envisage a science cluster that will be a major contender in the international academic field, that will draw talented students and scientists from around the world and that will be a sought-after partner for state-of-the-art organisations wishing to collaborate in the areas of technology, production and science.
Professor Karen Maex, dean of the UvA's Faculty of Science, will lead the efforts by both universities to shape the planned collaboration between their respective science faculties. Together with the vice-deans, she will draw up a 'plan of action' setting out the sequences and timelines of the various steps to be undertaken. In drawing up this plan of action, Maex and the vice-deans will obviously take the commitments made by the Executive Boards to the representative advisory bodies as starting points. The objections raised by students regarding the practicalities of teaching activities spread over multiple locations will receive special attention.
The Executive Boards will take measures to remove any obstacles to collaboration with respect to operational management between the faculties. The Executive Boards would also like to engage in a dialogue with the Joint Meetings of both universities about the governance of the collaboration between the UvA and VU, and about how best to organise participation in decision-making in that area.