The Board of Directors of the academic hospital informed personnel of the plans on Monday. What the changes will mean for the staff personally will be made known by the end of this year.
The programme is coping with many problems. Dentistry has been in the red for years. Last year, the programme thought it would end the year with a deficit of 200,000 to 300,000 euros, but in reality, they were 500,000 in debt. The programme is now heading towards a deficit of 900,000 euros in 2015.
In addition to this, students and staff members have been complaining for years about the study. Last year, a decision was made to tackle the culture of fear in the programme, but due to lack of funds, not much has been done to address this. Current vacancies are also going unfilled.
The Board of Directors is now taking action to save the programme. First, dentistry has to make cut backs worth 800,000 euros in order to fill the 500,000 euro gap in the budget and to put 300,000 euros into reserves for investments and innovation.
Furthermore, the hospital will make a one-time investment of 550,000 euros in dentistry to help the programme on its way. This can be used for the filling of essential function vacancies, such as head of the skills lab, second clinic manager, department manager, and support staff for educational development and planning.
Money is also being pumped into skills lab education in order to ensure the quality of education and make improvements. Currently, the lab is having a hard time providing enough suitable patients for the bachelor’s students to practice on.
It had already been made known that the new curriculum has been postponed due to financial difficulties.
The plans for the restructuring have to be finalised by mid may, after which they will be sent to the representative councils. This month, the Faculty Council (O&O council), the works council (the body responsible for staff representation) and ProDent (the university-level advocate for dentistry students) will be spoken to about how they will be involved in the reorganisation.
On Tuesday afternoon, the plans were presented to staff members and students.