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No direct corporate influence on education and research at RSM

The corporate sector does not exert any direct influence on education or scientific research at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). This has been shown by the report of the independent investigation committee chaired by Prof. Gerard Mols (former rector magnificus of Maastricht University) on ties between RSM and the corporate sector. However, RSM should tighten up its work methods and create greater transparency in several aspects, according to the committee.



The committee was set up in July 2017 by the Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) following a report by Changerism on the ties between RSM and the corporate sector.

The committee has carried out a thorough investigation into collaboration between RSM and the corporate sector, and its possible influence on the curriculum. The committee also examined whether RSM is sufficiently compliant with EUR’s regulations and procedures for guaranteeing scientific integrity.

No direct influence

In its investigation report, the Committee Mols concluded that the corporate sector does not exert any direct influence on RSM’s education or scientific research. Although the faculty's procedures and protocols are in order, it is important to tighten up its work methods and create greater transparency.

The recommendations of the committee’s report largely have to do with further tightening up scientific integrity, tightening up and enforcing the ancillary activities regulations, simplifying the complex organisational structure between de publicly funded and the privately funded part of the school, and continued focus on the culture of scientific integrity.

The value of scientific integrity

Prof. Steef van de Velde, Dean of RSM, will follow the recommendations of the independent committee's report, and ensure that the regulations are further tightened up and reinforced. “The committee has carried out a careful and thorough investigation,” says Dean Van de Velde. “We attach a great deal of importance to scientific integrity, and will do everything in our power to guarantee this in the future. Collaboration with the corporate sector is and will remain very important for us; transparency and due care are indeed essential here. We have already set all that is necessary in motion. For example, we will open a publicly accessible RSM Corporate Register in which all our contacts with the corporate sector will be registered in a transparent overview.

We will screen contracts between RSM and the corporate sector and, if necessary, amend any provisions which the corporate sector could seize upon to influence education. Also, activities such as consultancy and education within the scope of the EUR Holding subsidiaries will be registered as ancillary activities. All of this fits in with our new mission RSM – a force for positive change in the world, which we announced in May 2017.”

EUR’s Executive Board will also assess and monitor the progress of these measures. In addition, an independent advisory committee will be set up by the EUR Executive Board to give advice about the complex organisational structure.

The report of the Committee Mols can be found here in Dutch and (partially) here in English (full translation will follow soon). The reaction of the EUR Executive Board can be found here.

Composition of the Committee

The independent investigation committee consisted of Emeritus Professor G.P.M.F. Mols (Chairman, Emeritus Professor in Criminal Law and Procedure at Maastricht University and former Rector Magnificus of this university), Emeritus Professor H. Verbruggen (Emeritus Professor in International Environmental Economics, former Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, VU Amsterdam) and Emeritus Professor J.G. Kuijl (Emeritus Professor in Business Economics, Leiden University and Maastricht University).

Corporate Register

The above-mentioned Corporate Register will contain basic information on the involved parties and the type of agreement. The register will become publicly accessible soon.

More information

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at mschouten@rsm.nl.

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