Dossier

Report inspectorate

Social safety

At TU Delft, the care for employee social safety has been neglected to the point of ‘mismanagement’. The Dutch Inspectorate of Education recently concluded this after an investigation lasting almost 10 months. The harsh conclusion led to anger among the university board. TU Delft submitted a defense. Read more about the Inspection report and everything related to it in this dossier.

  • Delta is looking for current and former TU Delft employees who are willing to share their experiences. This can be done anonymously if preferred. Email tudelta@protonmail.com.
Campus

The CNV, FNV, AOb and FBZ trade unions are ‘livid about the lack of social safety at TU Delft’. They note that there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the action plan that is intended to improve the situation. They also say that they are receiving dozens of comments from concerned employees after an investigative article appeared in the Algemeen Dagblad (AD) newspaper.

Campus

Delta was awarded two prizes for the best journalistic work within higher education media on 6 June. Delta received the so-called Kring Awards for an investigative story on social unsafety at the Innovation & Impact Centre (I&IC) that caused much controversy in April and an interview with planetary researcher Daphne Stam, who left TU Delft out of discontent.

Campus

TU Delft does not comply with the Work and Care Act. It does take measures to address heavy workload and undesirable behaviour, but these are rarely based on an analysis of the problems. There is also no information on their effectiveness. In the meantime, 37% of the employees are at a higher risk of a burnout. The time in which to deal with these issues systematically is coming to an end.

Campus
TU Delft's accounting was not in order around 2019, writes to the Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. According to the newspaper, around that time the university would have appeared poorer than it actually was by fiddling with the financial closure of projects. For example, in one of the financial statements, positive balances would have been written
Opinion

Columnist Jan van Neerven champions press freedom in his first column for Delta. His inspiration comes from his father, who passionately defended this cause as Editor-in-Chief of the ‘Limburgs Dagblad’.

Science

Professor of Mathematics Jan van Neerven is one of three TU Delft academics who have joined the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). As he states, he teaches the only course at TU Delft whose learning objective is that students know less afterwards than they did before. What motivates Van Neerven, and how does he feel about improving social safety six weeks after his critical letter in Delta?

Opinion

Columnist Birgit van Driel is surprised about the lack of self-reflection in society. She believes that politicians and administrators should look – publicly – in the mirror more often.

Campus

The Netherlands Labour Authority concludes that universities have only taken ‘minimal’ action in dealing with excessive workloads and undesirable behaviour since 2020. If they do not demonstrate improvement by 2025, the Authority will start enforcement procedures. What have the universities done and not done, and what does the Netherlands Labour Authority suggest that they do now?

Campus
The Executive Board submitted the so-called ‘Plan for change: social safety TU Delft’ to the Dutch Inspectorate of Education on 15 May. The latter will later give its first reaction. In its damning report on social safety at TU Delft, the inspectorate demanded that the Executive Board submit a plan of action by mid-May. Earlier,
Campus

A high proportion of teaching and academic personnel at universities in the Netherlands suffer from a heavy workload and undesirable behaviour. Universities have not been able to improve things over the last few years. This is the conclusion of the Netherlands Labour Authority in a damning report. Universities are given until 2025 to comply with their legal obligations for staff welfare. Should they not do so, the Labour Authority will enforce it.

Campus

The social safety plan of action that TU Delft needs to submit to the Inspectorate of Education in mid-May is almost ready. At least, the version that the Executive Board wants to submit. It concerns a ‘living document’ that has been renamed a ‘change management plan’. In the document, the Executive Board expresses repentance, recognises that looking back is needed, and names a few potential measures for the short and longer term.

Opinion

It is concerning that TU Delft hires so many consultants to solve its problems, writes Delta’s new student columnist Alex Nedelcu in his first piece. It hinders us from actually solving problems, he argues.

Opinion
Submitted by Ruben Wiersma (PhD student at Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science) For a few years now, I have enjoyed listening to Esther Perel's podcast 'Where should we begin?'. In the podcast, she talks to couples who encounter problems in their relationships. It could be that one is fighting too much, their partner is
Campus
On Friday 19 April 19, Dutch Lower House member Luc Stultiens (GroenLinks-PvdA) asked parliamentary questions  about the course of events surrounding an article that Delta took offline in protest. Among other things, Stultiens wants to know whether Outgoing Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf shares the view of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (Dutch Association of Journalists,
Campus

The Students and Staff for Safety pressure group does not believe that the current Executive Board can pick up the pieces and make good. The pressure group was specially set up in connection with the social safety issue, and it wrote this in a statement on Thursday.

Opinion

Just over a month after the Education Inspectorate report came out, columnist Dap Hartmann gives the Executive Board some free advice: come clean, be accountable and quit window dressing.

Opinion

In this letter to the editor, Mathematics Professor Jan van Neerven takes up columnist Bob van Vliet’s hashtag #NotMyExecutiveBoard. He wonders whether the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board will live up to their own words.

Campus

The ‘Social safety project team’ has set four dates on which TU Delft employees, students and alumni can share ideas about ‘a safer working and studying environment’. The Supervisory Board will attend one of the sessions and the Executive Board another.

Opinion

Now that the Inspectorate report is published, TU Delft too quickly jumps into its traditional role of problem solver, turning its back on the past and closing its doors. If we really want a socially safe university, we should not let this happen, writes Saskia Bonger, Editor in Chief, in this opinion piece.

Campus
Violence, threats, persecution, sexual harassment, the withdrawal of research funds: worldwide, many scientists have to deal with these things, the global counts of Scholars at Risk, for instance, show. At the request of minister demissionary Dijkgraaf and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), Utrecht law professor Janneke Gerards collected more studies and they
Campus

All TU Delft staff members can share their ideas about creating a safer working environment with the Works Council (OR). The OR has invited all staff to a meeting on Wednesday 20 March. The OR will share the ideas with the Executive Board, that is planning to submit its plan of action to the Inspectorate of Education on 19 May at the latest.

Campus
The local TU Delft trade unions want to schedule an extra meeting with the Executive Board. They want to know as soon as possible how the Executive Board is going to address doubts about the Undesirable Behaviour Complaints Committee that, according to the Education Inspectorate, exist among employees. They write: "The unions ask you to
Campus
The so-called Students and Staff for safety have presented their petition by e-mail to the TU Delft’s Executive Board and Supervisory Board on Thursday afternoon, 14 March. They have collected more than 1,000 signatures under it since 5 March. In the petition, the anonymous initiators call on the TU Delft administration not to take the
Opinion

Let us stop acting as though the reports made to the Inspectorate of Education are exceptions in an otherwise pleasant community, writes Assistant Professor Marieke Kootte. “Correct anyone that says that ‘women are like numbers, they are pretty to play with’.”

Campus

The four unions affiliated with TU Delft do not want the Executive Board to take the Education Inspectorate to court. In a statement to its members, the unions write that many TU Delft employees do not support the board’s view.

Opinion

The court proceedings TU Delft is considering in response to the Inspectorate of Education report seem more an attempt to put their own house in order than to address the underlying causes of the reports. You do not restore TU Delft’s good name in court, but by being an excellent employer, Dap Hartmann believes.

Campus
TU Delft's Executive Board has invited all employees for a meeting on the upcoming Inspectorate of Education report. The email was sent at 9 AM on 1 March and the meeting is scheduled at 11 AM in the Green Village. The email does not say what the Executive Board has to tell the employees. There