VUB confirms ongoing internal procedure against Prof Van Hoof

- The Vrije Universiteit Brussel reacts to press reports in relation to professor Elke Van Hoof.

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel confirms that a disciplinary investigation is ongoing against professor Elke Van Hoof. In September 2022, the university received a formal complaint from the reporting parties. After thorough analysis of the complaint, a disciplinary investigation was immediately started, based on incriminating and exculpatory elements. In this context, professor Van Hoof was recently invited for an interview with the rector. This interview has not yet been able to take place. Based on the report from the investigative body, the rector will decide on referral and all parties will be informed.

Regarding communication during the disciplinary investigation, the university is keeping both the reporting parties and the person concerned informed of each step in the process. There will be no communication about the substantive process of the investigation until a final verdict is reached.

VUB recognises that faster intervention is required. We note that in cases of transgressive behaviour, reporting parties require more time for consideration of the steps they wish to take, about giving up their anonymity, etc. It may therefore sometimes be months between the first reports and the formal complaint. No disciplinary procedure can be started based purely on anonymous reports. The university is exploring how it can react more decisively to indications of transgressive behaviour.

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig - The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People , because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership , VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré , the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ’urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.­eftjenodig