There have been several high-profile cases of harassment, discrimination and power abuse across Dutch academia, which were typically restricted to single departments or institutes. This report, based on interviews with 26 (former) employees of the University of Groningen shows that harassment and bullying are likely more 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 such as the universities mentioned above, serious cases of harassment occur, and remain under the radar.”
The Board of the University comments on these findings in the foreword to the report and and will continue to seek discussion 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 requires continuous attention and awareness from all of us.
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