Friday 5 May 2023 - The Vrije Universiteit Brussel reacts to press reports in relation to professor Elke Van Hoof.
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel confirms that a disciplinary investigation is ongoing against professor Elke Van Hoof. In September 2022, the university received a formal complaint from the reporting parties. After thorough analysis of the complaint, a disciplinary investigation was immediately started, based on incriminating and exculpatory elements. In this context, professor Van Hoof was recently invited for an interview with the rector. This interview has not yet been able to take place. Based on the report from the investigative body, the rector will decide on referral and all parties will be informed.
Regarding communication during the disciplinary investigation, the university is keeping both the reporting parties and the person concerned informed of each step in the process. There will be no communication about the substantive process of the investigation until a final verdict is reached.
VUB recognises that faster intervention is required. We note that in cases of transgressive behaviour, reporting parties require more time for consideration of the steps they wish to take, about giving up their anonymity, etc. It may therefore sometimes be months between the first reports and the formal complaint. No disciplinary procedure can be started based purely on anonymous reports. The university is exploring how it can react more decisively to indications of transgressive behaviour.