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De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Ondernemende universiteit in zwaar weer

is the title of the bad publication that has (yet with a week of (optionally repentant) delay-time) appeared in NRC Handelsblad last Saturday. Translated from poetic-bureaucratic Dutch, it just means “Enterprising university in trouble”(that’s our TU Delft). A muckraker obviously got hands on some old internal financial accounting reports as well as on some accounts of the confindential meetings our beloved top-brass. Very well, he’s made his job: with few playing cards in hand, he maganed to draw an astonishing and hardly attractive picture of our University. Quite expectedly, illustrated with a photograph of a fire that destroyed one of our buildings four years ago. Funny they haven’t added the portraits of students tortured in course of their initiation to student societies.

That felt pretty nostalgic to me. Chernukha, a russian word rooted in ‘black’. Though could be translated as ‘muckraking’ it surpasses the latter by scale, like ‘Black square’ of magnificient Malevich surpasses any painting ever. Chernukha is a genre of journalism that differs from libel in such a way that each statement taken apart is rather innocent and can not cause a lawsuit, while their skifull combination should make the reader depressed, remorse any possible association with organisation/subject/topic under consideration, and finally fountain-vomit. Chernukha is much stronger than libel: it’s contibuted quite a bit to the fall of Soviet state… Thus encouraged, I’ve carefully checked the text for missing articles, occurencres of double negation and traces of declensional inflections: nothing, no sign of my wonderful mothertong, the author must be close to native Dutch.

What surprised me beyond any measure is an overwhelmingly excessive, almost hillarious reaction of our beloved top-brass. The warning about the publication was issued a week in advance. Precisely an hour before the newspaper get to subscribers one can read on the web-site of our university a point-by-point rebuttal of the article (encompassing at least a half of the points, good score!). Next day the rebuttal has been translated in English: to reach those who had no chance to comprehend the Dutch-language article. This is given by the fact that the article in question was not available freely on internet (now it is here, thanks to an anonymous road engineer). In fact, the article was reliably buried in the forty-pages saturday edition. I read it by my friends who subscribe. It took us 5 minutes to find the article in this paper heap. From this, I would estimate the potential audience by 100 persons. The relentless efforts of the top-brass have probably brough the audience to ten thousand. Wonder if in addition to the sins listed somebody has also a secret share in Handelsblad distribution…

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