Threatening or intimidating diversity employees at colleges and universities? “Completely unacceptable,” Education Minister Dijkgraaf replied to parliamentary questions. He will come up with a new approach this year.
Universities hire diversity officers to make their institution a place where discrimination is countered and barriers are removed. Some, including members of the House of Representatives, feel that these employees pursue changes that are too far-reaching at the institution and disqualify them with the label “woke.”
This criticism does not just stop at words. An investigation by several higher education media last year revealed that these employees are being scolded, threatened , and harassed both online and offline. Also, their personal information was distributed online without permission. Because their names were made public, even family members were targeted for harassment.
D66 submitted questions to Parliament about this topic. Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf therefore delved into the higher education media investigation and replied today that the descriptions are disturbing and “completely unacceptable.”
Therefore, he announced a new cabinet approach against “online harassment, racism, and hate speech,” to be presented before the end of this year. He did not yet reveal what this approach should look like in concrete terms. He will also talk with diversity staff about social safety and once again referred to the Safe Science hotline that was established in November. Employees who are not involved in research are also supported and advised there, he emphasized.