Wednesday 17 May 2023 - The Vrije Universiteit Brussel reacts to reports in the press in relation to professor M.L.
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel confirms that an internal procedure is taking place in relation to Prof M.L. following reports of transgressive behaviour. Such reports are taken extremely seriously and a thorough preliminary investigation is currently under way, in which the investigatory body is gathering all incriminating and exculpatory elements and drawing up an advisory report. On the basis of this report, the rector will decide whether to refer the case to the disciplinary committee. This decision will be communicated to all parties involved, as will the final decision of the committee in the event of a referral.
We will not communicate about the content of the investigation. This is in order not to jeopardise the process, and in the interests of an accurate and calm handling of the complaint for the concerned parties.
In line with its new YANA (You Are Not Alone) policy regarding the approach to transgressive behaviour, the university is making every effort to deal with every report of such behaviour and providing adequate guidance to victims so they do not feel alone.
Transgressive behaviour will not be accepted at VUB. Tackling it is one of the key points of the policy of rector Jan Danckaert who, as vice-rector for Education and Student Affairs, along with honorary rector Caroline Pauwels and the Student Council at the time, was the architect of the Grenswijs policy on dealing with transgressive behaviour among students and is extending it to staff policy.
Jan Danckaert: “All universities struggle with this, but at VUB we are determined to continue on the path we have chosen. It is difficult, but what the victims have to go through is much worse. So we press forward.”
The new decisive approach allows the university to look at undesirable behaviour from the present as well as from the past. Several investigations are currently ongoing following reports of inappropriate behaviour.
Treatment of reports of transgressive behaviour must be done decisively but with the necessary caution. It must take into account the complexity of such procedures and their impact on those reporting and those involved. VUB therefore asks everyone to act and communicate with appropriate restraint in relation to these matters.