After ‘acting improperly’: professor of Radboud University dismissed

Professor Paul Bakker will not return to Radboud University in Nijmegen for the time being. The educational institution reports this on its own internet page. This summer, an external study was conducted into social safety and manners within the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies.

“The reason was several signals from multiple sources about a few people”, writes the university. These signals came after Bakker’s forthcoming appointment as dean became known.

“On the basis of the research the Executive Board has established that there has been improper conduct. The Commission deeply regrets this for all involved. Measures have been taken, “it says.

What went wrong remains unclear

It is not known exactly what happened at Nijmegen University. Those involved want to remain anonymous and do not want to make public statements about what happened, the website writes. “The Executive Board respects that wish.”

Immediately after the investigation was announced, Bakker decided to renounce his appointment as dean. His future at Radboud University seems uncertain. He said that Bakker will no longer be physically present at the faculty this semester and will not participate in any activities.

More complaints

Bakker was not the only one about whom complaints had apparently been filed. “The current dean of the faculty has held in-depth discussions with a few other people about whom the Executive Board has also received signals about inappropriate conduct.” The university does not disclose how they crossed the line. It is also unclear whether measures have been or will be taken against them.

Research into social safety and inclusion within the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies raises new questions, according to the university. That is why the Executive Board is having a further investigation carried out and students and staff are asked to report if something is going on.

More attention to diversity, equality and inclusion

A diversity, equality and inclusion program manager has been appointed within the university since 1 September: Rona Jualla van Oudenhoven. She must start working on a safe and inclusive campus, Radboud University writes on its website.

An action plan will be drawn up shortly to achieve this target. For example, there may be a central point on campus where people can turn if they feel unsafe or discriminated against.


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