“We didn’t always make the right decisions”, said a member of the Executive Board, André Postema, last week in a meeting with the University Council. Even before the official evaluation of MUSL, the board is already doing penance.
“The system was not sufficiently tested, staff did not receive enough training, and we did not see all the interdependencies, all the things that were linked together.” André Postema didn’t hide his discomfort about the new student registration system MUSL: “Every day brings new problems, and many solutions create new problems. We haven’t as yet reached the stable phase; that might take some weeks.”
He also stated that the costs are high, especially because of the extra staff who had to be brought in to solve problems. Why didn’t the board take previous warnings seriously? asked one member of the University Council. Postema: “Only one faculty had reservations about the decision to go live. Whether we did or did not take enough notice of those kinds of reservations will be part of the evaluation of the whole process.”
Last week the board announced some personnel changes in the field of ICT. It may seem as though the man responsible for MUSL, the director of the Student Service Centre René Verspeek, is being cast aside, as he will take sabbatical leave from next week. But Verspeek denies this: his leave (and the date from which he would take it) was negotiated as early as 2003, when he took up his appointment as SSC director.
Questions have also been raised about Postema himself. He followed a two-month management course at Harvard while the new system was implemented in Maastricht in late spring. But according to the board, there were no impediments to Postema’s leaving Maastricht at that particular moment. The main decisions about MUSL had already been taken and the decision to go live was up to the faculties. Besides, says spokesperson Jeanine Gregersen, the Executive Board was keeping an eye on all that.