The Vereeck case

The Vereeck case

Professor Lode Vereeck has an open, direct and (some would say) provocative style, but is not guilty of ‘inappropriate behavior’. This is confirmed by all 15 students and colleagues at Hasselt University who were interrogated by the Public Prosecutor's Office, as well as by the student representatives in the University’s Board of Governors who were able to read the entire file. One interrogated student disagrees, but her fellow students consider her statement and behavior ‘not credible’. The public prosecutor dismissed the case.

The decision by the Public Prosecutor's Office was a damaging loss of face for the Principal (or Rector) of Hasselt University, who had initiated the case (claiming before television cameras that Vereeck was guilty) and was out for revenge. The Principal also happened to be the brother-in-law of a former political opponent of Vereeck, who himself served as Member of Parliament and Senator. Hence, Vereeck never got a fair internal trial and was dismissed. For the student representatives, who put out a statement in the meeting of the Board of Governors, it is crystal clear: Vereeck can immediately return to work as a full professor. The High Administrative Court (or Council of State) believes that the university did not make a procedural error, but also notes that there is ‘no breach of trust with the students’. On the contrary. And aren't they what this case should be about? More details can be found in this blog (in Dutch).