Members of the Young Academy Groningen Working Group on Diversity and Inclusion have conducted interviews with 26 (current and former) employees of the University of Groningen who have experienced harassment, discrimination, power abuse, and bullying.
These interviews are summarized in the report below and show that harassment and bullying are widespread - a situation that likely applies to other universities as well. Strong hierarchies, tendencies to blame the victim, lack of accountability of line managers, and negative attitudes towards diversity and inclusion are conducive for harassment to occur. The report concludes that “even at the University of Groningen, which has so far not had high-profile cases, serious cases of harassment occur, and remain mostly below the radar.”
The Board of the University comments on these findings in their included reaction to the report. The board stresses it will continue to work with the Young Academy Groningen, university council, faculties, and other stakeholders to prevent experiences like those described in the report. Actions are put in place that need to ensure that victims of harassment and discrimination are supported effectively. A safe university community not only requires continuous attention and awareness from all of us but also open communication.
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