MAASTRICHT. The Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences is forced to make further cuts again. The faculty has been in the red since last year. It then made cutbacks to the amount of five hundred thousand euro, but it was clear that this would not be enough to bring the general reserve to the right level. According to the UM budget regulations it should be at 1.9 million. Currently it’s at 1.7 million. In addition, certain investments remain necessary, for example to set up the new bachelor’s programme of Brain Science.
If the faculty council agrees with the plans proposed by the board in two weeks’ time, a number of budgets will be frozen. This means a temporary halt for the Robin Hood fund, a fund set up for researchers who want to take on trainee researchers, but who have no subsidy to pay for this themselves. New computers and a welcome party for students during the faculty introduction will not be happening. And fewer students will receive a grant.
The faculty board emphasises that the intention is to ‘unfreeze’ these budgets as soon as finances are back on track. To help the faculty with this, a committee is being set up, which includes the department heads. They will have to make proposals for structural savings and/or for generating more income.
A possible structural measure is lowering the annual amount that FPN pays to Scannexus, the lab that houses the Tesla scanners used mainly by the neuroscientists. The present contract with Scannexus expires at the end of 2022 and the psychologists are hoping that they may be able to negotiate a more favourable contract.
If everything goes according to plan, the general reserve should be just above the minimum of 1.9 million euro, as set by the Executive Board, by 2022. The margin should continue to grow in the years after that.