Last week's communications about the transgressive behaviour of a UvA law professor have generated responses and questions. Most prominent among these is the legitimate question about what we have done since June of last year, when a complaint was lodged against the professor in question.
We are therefore providing an overview of the measures and actions that have been implemented since we received the complaint last summer.
First of all, it goes without saying that support and care have been provided for the relevant department. Additionally, the dean has introduced changes to departmental management and organisation. Support and care for both staff and students from the relevant faculty is still in place. Various meetings are being held for staff and students at the Faculty of Law this week to enable them to discuss the situation, share opinions and feelings and exchange ideas on what is required.
Moreover, an external firm (Bureau Integriteit bv) was asked to audit our confidential adviser system in the autumn of 2018. The report concluded in January 2019 that there were no major sticking points, although it did make recommendations in terms of facilitating the confidential advisers and increasing awareness of their existence. These recommendations were discussed with the representative advisory bodies (the Central Works Council and the Central Student Council). Measures taken in accordance with these recommendations include the drawing up of a road map for confidential advisers and complaints. It has been agreed that this will be in place prior to the summer of 2019.
In addition, a comprehensive overview memorandum on social safety was produced in the second half of 2018, clarifying the state of play and points for improvement. This was discussed with the Central Works Council and the Central Student Council. Several measures from this memorandum have already been implemented, such as including the issues of social safety and diversity in the curriculum for the new Academic Leadership programme. Furthermore, principles of community have been drawn up with a view to reinforcing a culture that is conducive to dialogue and guarantees social safety. A draft of these is to be discussed by the University Council at the start of June.
November 2018 saw the start of the process of drawing up the new Diversity Framework. Partly in response to the reactions to the draft diversity policy, a decision has been made to appoint an independent ombudsperson, subject to the advice of the Central Works Council and the Central Student Council.
It was agreed with the Central Student Council at the start of May that a wide-ranging survey would be conducted among students to gauge their social safety. An awareness campaign will also be launched.
This list of measures may be expanded and we will be continuing to work on it in conjunction with the academic community. We are keen to provide each and every one of us with a safe working environment in which inappropriate behaviour is not accepted, in which we can address one another's conduct and ways of communicating, and in which wrongdoing can be reported safely and will subsequently be acted on.