Icoon met drie personen in een hand
Icoon met drie personen in een hand

Update social safety

Dean Evelyn Kroesbergen looks back on the developments regarding the faculty’s focus on social safety and looks ahead to the new academic year.

A lot has happened on the topic of social safety last year. At the end of this academic year I would like to provide a short review and update, partly because efforts regarding social safety are not always immediately visible. For example, due to the confidentiality of cases, communication is often only with the employees and students involved. Important matters related to social safety are discussed in the faculty board and in the FGV.

Because we believe it is very important that everyone within our faculty feels safe to be themselves and express themselves, we continue to work on social safety. There are certainly still steps to be taken, but I am proud of the developments I saw in the faculty last year, thanks to you!

Social safety programme

The social safety programme has been rolled out, and I hope and expect that you have noticed. With, among other things, training courses, ‘off-site’ days, intervision groups for managers, the 'Look After Each Other Week' and workshops, many groups have worked on awareness and repertoire of actions surrounding undesirable behaviour. We see that there is great involvement in this. I also see positive developments in the feedback culture we are working on. It is increasingly being identified at an early stage that certain behavior has an undesirable effect and people are being talked to, to create awareness and bring about change. As a faculty board, we also pay attention to social safety in discussions with managers and directors.


In some instances, the faculty board is involved in cases and more steps are required than just speaking to someone (for example, individual coaching or mediation). In this way, unwanted behaviour can be tackled much faster than in the past. If cases lead to an external investigation, the process often takes a very long time, which is not pleasant for anyone. In that context, I would also like to report that discussions are still being held regarding the case that was in an Argos broadcast last year to find a good solution. We will communicate in detail in a separate article about the processes involved in cases in the near future.

Learnings from demonstrations

The terrible images of war situations, national and international (political) developments and also the related demonstrations on campus have also affected many FSW members. It makes me realise how complex the concept of safety is and how it affects, for example, academic freedom and its limits. And many people still experience a sense of unrest or insecurity in many ways, both those involved in the demonstrations and those who felt challenged or unsafe by the demonstrations or experienced pressure to take a stand. As a faculty board, we have discussed this as much as possible with the various groups in the faculty.

Discussions have also been held about this theme with managers and directors, in departments and in the FGV. In the FGV we have decided that next year we will encourage and facilitate the departments to further discuss essential themes such as academic freedom (and its limits), (social) safety, social involvement and collaborative relationships. I look forward to constructive conversations in which we speak and learn about the foundations of the academy and thus work together to build an even more beautiful - and safer - faculty!

Evelyn Kroesbergen
Dean Faculty of Social Sciences

Questions or concerns

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