Heads of dentistry quit

The Centre for Dentistry and Oral Care (CTM) has been dealt another set back: several managers have quit.

The CTM, already plagued by problems, has another problem on their hands now that several personnel members in management positions have quit. Among the people leaving are husband and wife Ernst and Charlotte Aukema, both of whom were department heads, and several other team leaders. Exactly how many people are leaving is not yet known.

Why the department leaders are quitting remains unclear. Charlotte Aukema refuses to explain her departure: ‘It’s a personal choice, and I will not explain it to someone I don’t know.’ Her husband also refuses to discuss the reason for his departure.


During the meeting last Wednesday, the members of the UMCG faculty council expressed their concerns about their colleagues leaving such key positions. They want UMCG’s Board of Directors (RvB) to tell them about the consequences for the organisation and its education.

The Educational committee for dentistry (OCT) is also very worried, said president Henny van der Mei during the faculty council meeting. Van der Mei refused to elaborate on what those worries are specifically. She did tell the council that OCT has brought the issue to the attention of anyone who will listen, including the UMCG board.


CTM has been having problems for a while now. There was talk of the department suffering from a culture of fear, which was confirmed by an investigative committee. An interim manager, Lina van der Ploeg, was appointed as a result with the task of getting the department in order.

Attempts to fix the dentistry department took a major hit when it was discovered the programme’s budget was seriously in the red with a deficit of almost 900,000 euros. Any improvements have been put on hold in the mean time since there is no money available to implement them.


The financial problems at the CTM have led to a concept plan for reorganisation being drafted. During the meeting on Wednesday, faculty council member Gijs Bruntink announced that the council would like to see the concept plan finished in June. After that, the RvB still has to approve of the reorganisation.

According to Bruntink, the dentistry department’s financial situation has been investigated as thoroughly as possible, but no one has been able to figure out what happened to the 900,000 euros. Aside from personnel, it is unknown what the cutbacks will affect. An assessment of how many FTEs (full time equivalency) the dentistry programme needs to keep the curriculum going will be launched.

Charlotte and Ernst Aukema will by leaving on 1 September, says UMCG spokesperson Marjolein Bogaards. The CTM is looking into how, in light of the cutbacks and the reorganisation, their jobs will be filled from September onwards. Whether other outgoing personnel will stay on until the reorganisation is done or if they will be replaced by new or temporary staff is not yet clear. The CTM is taking into account that more people might leave due either to the reorganisation or for personal reasons, according to Bogaards.