Independent University Newspaper
Copenhagen Business School

Independent University Newspaper

Copenhagen Business School

CBS Board of Directors finalizes new strategy behind closed doors: “It’s against the spirit and bylaws of CBS”

Entrance hall

(Photo: Anna Holte)

The employee representatives of the General Consultation Committee (HSU) have unanimously sent a letter to the President of CBS harshly criticizing the decision to include the final discussion of the strategy as a confidential item on the agenda at the board meeting held on June 29. “It is not acceptable management from the President and the Chair,” the letter states. The President of CBS does not wish to comment on the criticism before meeting with the HSU.

News |   07. Sep 2020

Anne M. Lykkegaard

Journalist

On June 29, the CBS Board of Directors held a meeting and approved the new strategy. However, the final discussion took place in secret, as the item on the agenda had been marked confidential. And that decision has been met with harsh criticism from the employee representatives of the General Consultation Committee (HSU), which wished to discuss the matter at the upcoming HSU meeting on September 8.

The nine employee representatives wrote in unison a letter to the President of CBS, Nikolaj Malchow-Møller, on August 20, expressing their concerns about the final steps of approving the strategy taking place behind closed doors.

“The HSU’s employee representatives view this closed processing of important aspects of the strategy as being in conflict with both the spirit and letter of the Bylaws of CBS,” writes Ole Helmersen, Shop Steward and Associate Professor, in the letter submitted on behalf of the employee representatives.

Not only do the employee representatives argue that it contravenes CBS bylaws, they also say it breaches section 3 of the Cooperation Agreement. According to the letter, the Board of Directors discussed implementation of the strategy based on a document drawn up by the Senior Management.

“It should be clear that implementation of the new strategy cannot be discussed based on a document on the matter authored by the Senior Management without it being presented to the HSU before its final adoption by the CBS Board of Directors; a document that, also now, six weeks later, is still being withheld from the HSU, the Academic Council and all other CBS employees,” the letter states.

On the day the letter was sent, August 20, the document on the implementation was forwarded to both the HSU and the Academic Council and published on Share, according to Ole Helmersen. The document can be read here.

About the document, Ole Helmersen says:

“I still believe the criticism is legitimate and that the President of CBS and the Chairman of the Board of Directors have made a mistake in this case. We still need an explanation as to why the item on the agenda was confidential. When you read the document, there is nothing in it that requires confidentiality. That is why we believe it is necessary to include it on the HSU’s agenda.”

CBS WIRE has asked Nikolaj Malchow-Møller why the item was confidential and for a response to the criticism from the B-side, but he does not wish to comment on the matter before the HSU meeting.

Ole Helmersen calls the case “exceptional”.

“I do not recall a precedent of this kind” he says.

The B-side of HSU emphasizes in the letter that no such thing is to happen again.

“It is central for the B-side at the HSU to clarify that these violations of the Bylaws of CBS and Cooperation Agreement are not acceptable management from the President of CBS and the Chairman of the Board, and that the HSU emphasizes that no such thing is to happen in the future.”

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CBS Board of Directors finalizes new strategy behind closed doors: “It’s against the spirit and bylaws of CBS”by

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