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Foto: Jeroen Oerlemans (UvA)

Student council gives up confidence in dean Fred Weerman

Henk Strikkers,
3 juli 2020 - 14:41

The Student Council of the Faculty of Humanities has given up confidence in dean Fred Weerman stating, ‘the situation has become untenable.’

The council is dissatisfied with how the dean responded to anNRC article that reported on the allegedly transgressive behaviour of a teacher as well as to earlier complaints about the same teacher. In a letter to the dean the council expressed its concern that the teacher is still working at the UvA. ‘Your statement […] that research should prevail, should not prevent you from taking action when complaints like these reach you,’ it wrote. ‘The teacher still gives thesis coaching.’ According to the student council, a ‘change of  guard’ is necessary. ‘We call on you to make your position as dean available to an academic who can count on broad community support.’

The council writes that ‘the complaints of students are structurally ignored’

Another council at the same faculty, the Works Council, asked the faculty directors to ‘seriously question whether they are the right persons for their roles’. Short of giving up confidence in the dean, the Works Council considers that the faculty board has not been sufficiently open about its actions and that, ‘ambiguities and inconsistencies’ have emerged. The council also writes that, ‘the complaints of students are structurally ignored’ and has demanded a number of conditions to be met in the future. For example, its demanding ‘full disclosure’ from the board about this specific case and ‘consequences’ if information is withheld.


Further, there must be a plan of action to prevent similar cases in the future, ‘formulas’ for compensation as well as care for victims, an anonymous hotline and investigations opened into older reports. The council also wants a ‘thorough evaluation of the management model’ and a ‘360-degree assessment with input from all levels’ of employees.