Social safety of students and staff is an absolute priority for the UvA and for us personally too. We are deeply ashamed by any case that surfaces. We must all be aware that there can be no place for sexism and racism at the UvA and that action is taken where necessary. A culture change is needed. We support that.
In response to the case of the Faculty of Humanities, about which the national newspaper NRC reported on Saturday, the Board has decided to have an independent, external investigation carried out with a view to the required steps for improvement. In any case, we want the following questions to be examined: Did we and the dean respond with sufficient alertness and care? How can we change the procedures that we have for reports and complaints in such a way that the feeling of safety among students and staff is increased and the person making the complaint feels adequately protected against possible downsides of submitting a complaint? And in the positioning of the ombuds officer, is the independence in relation to the Board sufficiently safeguarded?
We will formulate the precise assignment in consultation with the Social Safety Task Force (Taskforce Sociale Veiligheid). In the meantime, we must work together on the culture change that a socially safe UvA requires.
Geert ten Dam, Karen Maex and Jan Lintsen
The Executive Board