Statement concerning social safety at Radboud University

Recent press coverage concerning Radboud University has given rise to many understandable reactions and feelings. It has become painfully clear that Radboud University is not or has not been a safe place for all employees and students. This was also apparent from recent Argos broadcasts and articles in De Gelderlander. We feel deeply for anyone who has had this kind of negative experience. Transgressive behaviour is not tolerated at Radboud University.

The Executive Board wants to emphasise that it is essential that Radboud University students and staff feel safe. This is a precondition for high-quality education and research, as well as for effective collaboration. We are aware of the need to listen even better to what is going on in all echelons of our University. We want to encourage people to speak up about any misconduct or feeling of unease, and we commit to taking measures where necessary.

In the past weeks, we initiated a process intended to transform the culture within our University. Clearly, this will take time. In the coming weeks, we will place an increased emphasis on preventing undesirable behaviour. Radboud University already has its own code of conduct, but really matters at this stage is that we embody this code and adhere to it in our day-to-day interactions.

That means being clear on how we want to treat each other within the University, also during difficult times. Everyone should feel supported to call each other out on undesirable behaviour, and everyone should learn to be open to critical feedback on their behaviour. As a university community, we must find a way to simply have these conversations with each other.

We are currently reviewing our reporting and complaints procedure. Our question as we do so is: How do we do justice to the importance of transparency and of confidentiality? We plan to involve employees and students with previous experience with a report or complaint in this reassessment process.

In addition to the steps already taken by individual faculties, we as the Executive Board will also reassess the current process of change and take further steps for and with the University as a whole. We will deploy additional external expertise for this. Before the end of the year, we will formulate an integrated plan of action. Our goal is to guarantee a safe social climate for anyone who works or studies at Radboud University.

Agnes Muskens – Vice President of the Executive Board
Daniël Wigboldus – President of the Executive Board