TU/e is considering abolishing existing departments

In order to bring research and education more closely in line with social issues such as digitalization and the energy transition, TU/e is considering abandoning the current structure with departments. The 'Governance' working group is investigating 'the best organizational structure to make our university future-proof.'

The existing structure with traditional departments such as Mechanical Engineering, Built Environment, Electrical Engineering and Physics is not ideal. When it comes to developing technology for, for example, the energy transition, knowledge from numerous fields is required. In a message on the intranet, the university states its expectation that 'fewer units' will make the organization 'more manageable and easier in terms of (mutual) coordination.' 'For example, decision-making is clearer, research lines are better defined, young researchers can find their way more easily, and there is more equality. 

Reorganizing the university organization sounds like a major operation. However, Edwin van den Heuvel, Dean of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and chair of the working group, states the following in the message: 'What I want is to bring about as many changes as possible with as little effort as possible.'

If this results in fewer but larger departments, that 'will give other opportunities to better involve the services in the primary processes'. A new organization should reduce the distance between the larger departments and the services. What exactly that will look like is not yet clear.

Impact on institutes

The working group is also considering what a new organization would mean for the 'top structure'. No less important is the impact on the institutes, which were created precisely to be able to respond better to social issues.

As this concerns a significant restructuring of the organization and affects the daily work of many employees and students, information sessions will be held on March 7 in both Dutch and English. You can sign up here.

The outcome is by no means fixed. 'There are many different opinions on this subject, also within the working group. That certainly makes it difficult,' says Van den Heuvel on the intranet.

In April, the Executive Board will organize strategy days, where Governance will have a prominent place on the agenda. The working group will submit a report with recommendations to the Board before the summer. After that, the working group will be dissolved and the Executive Board must decide on the next course of action.

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