UU distances itself from employee's Facebook comment
Utrecht University has decided to place the employee that posted the 'Volkert where are you?' comment on Facebook on involuntary leave, in anticipation of the interview with him that will take place in the near future.
In the afternoon of 21 March, we were alerted to the fact that an UU employee had posted the comment ‘Volkert where are you?’ under a Facebook post about the victory of the Dutch political party Forum voor Democratie.* We think this is a reprehensible comment, from which Utrecht University explicitly distances itself. We have also made this clear on Twitter and on Facebook. The employee in question has been notified to expect an invitation from the Faculty Board for an interview about his comment shortly.
The university has received various complaints about the employee's comment from both outside and within the university These complaints are being considered .The Executive Board will make a decision on the complaints and any sanctions that may be imposed. The employee in question has apologised for his comment on his personal Facebook page. As he subsequently not only received criticism, but threats as well, he has since deactivated his personal Facebook account.
Utrecht University is of the opinion that lecturers should set a good example for others. The comment by the employee, even though he made it in his free time, is at odds with that. We find this to be most regrettable.
*Editor’s note: the name ‘Volkert’ alludes to Volkert van der Graaf, who was convicted for the murder of the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn.