KU Leuven: KU Leuven responds to Pano report on cross-border behaviour

In the issue of the magazine Pano of March 16, testimonials about transgressive behavior from a professor at the Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences are discussed. In 2019, KU Leuven received reports of problematic behavior from this professor in the period 2010-2019.

KU Leuven emphasizes that this file has been taken very seriously and has been followed up thoroughly. The reports were received in 2019 via the confidential network and the confidential adviser. In this context, a coaching trajectory was also followed with the team of professors of which the person concerned belongs. It was only in the course of 2021 that a number of persons, including reporters who previously wished to remain anonymous, wanted to take the step to testify in a disciplinary procedure that was subsequently started in the autumn of 2021 and has since been completed after an appeal phase. On the basis of the file, the appeal body strongly urged that the personal follow-up of the professor concerned be meticulous, to which the dean concerned commits.

Cross-border behavior has no place at a university or at our faculty. That is precisely why it is important that this can be discussed if it does happen, that victims and witnesses feel sufficiently safe to take the step to a confidential adviser, reporting point or external organization. For me, therefore, all priority goes to conversations with colleagues and students, in order to build an open culture in tackling cross-border behaviour. Inclusion and respect are two spearheads of the policy that I wish to shape as the new dean, together with all actors within the faculty and together with the university. Inclusion and respect also require recognizing that there are personal boundaries and that we must discuss and put a stop to behavior that exceeds those boundaries.

Filip Staes, Dean Faculty of Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences

Out of respect for the privacy of former and current employees and students, and in the interest of a safe environment for reporting persons now and in the future, the university does not provide further details. Partly for this reason, every disciplinary procedure is secret.

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