Another warning within Psychology department: lecturer received yellow card for transgressive behaviour

20 Feb 2024 ,

Not only did a professor from the Psychology department recently receive a 'yellow card' for inappropriate behavior, but the same happened with a lecturer. He drank too much alcohol during a party and became pushy, going so far as slapping a female student on her buttocks.

It was during a party in a pub in Nijmegen, about two years ago, that a lecturer from the psychology department crossed the line with various students. He asked several of them to kiss him; One refused, but then received a kiss on the mouth anyway. The lecturer also kissed at least one other student that evening, this time with mutual consent.

The six students that Vox spoke to, who were present at the party, paint a picture of a lively evening with a lot of drinking. Part of the group had received their diplomas that day. After a drink at the university, the group, including the lecturer, went to the city to continue the party.

The lecturer in question behaved pushy and sexually intimidating. At one point, he walked through the pub with a naked upper body. Later in the evening, a female student received two slaps on her buttocks from him.

The student who received the slaps on her buttocks sat in his seminar a week after the party. She hoped for an apology, but according to her, the lecturer acted as if nothing had happened. He did not address the incident again.

Confidential advisor

Hannah, who has since graduated, was one of the attendees at the party. Although she herself was not harassed by the lecturer, she was deeply affected by the events. ‘I felt disgusting when I saw all this happening. Some things are just not okay – especially when there is a power dynamic, like between a teacher and a student.’

Hannah decided to talk to a confidential advisor from the university about what she had seen. The advisor explained that filing an official complaint – a step Hannah was seriously considering – was not possible as a bystander.

‘I would have felt very guilty if he were to be fired because of me’

The students who were personally affected by the lecturer’s inappropriate behaviour did not want to take that step. As far as Vox knows, they also did not talk to a confidential advisor. The fact that they were dependent on the lecturer played a role, but they also did not want to harm him. ‘I would have felt very guilty if he were to be fired because of me,’ says the student who was slapped on her buttocks. ‘That wouldn’t feel right.’

At the same time, she did not want to end up in a one-on-one situation with the lecturer after the incident, she says. She did not feel comfortable with that. However, she continued to receive lessons from him.


At Hannah’s request, the confidential advisor arranged a meeting between her and the lecturer’s supervisor. Later, there was also a meeting with the lecturer himself. Hannah put aside her nerves to personally tell him what the evening had done to her. ‘That helped me to move on.’

During that meeting, the lecturer apologized to Hannah. He told her he had been so drunk that he couldn’t remember everything that had happened.

Illustratie: Ivana Smudja

Hannah’s report resulted in the lecturer receiving a note in his personnel file. He was still allowed to continue teaching. As far as she is concerned, her action demonstrates that it does make a difference for bystanders to speak up. She hopes that more students will dare to do so in the future.


The current board of the Faculty of Social Sciences is aware of the warning issued to the lecturer. Evelyn Kroesbergen, who has been dean since October 2022, was informed by her predecessor Michiel Kompier. It was under Kompier’s leadership that the warning was issued. Ron Scholte, who has been the interim dean in recent months, received the information from Kroesbergen, who had to temporarily step down from her position due to long covid.

Furthermore, there have been discussions between the new board members and the lecturer. ‘Last year, we were very busy with social safety,’ says Kroesbergen. ‘That’s when the lecturer came to me with his story.’ According to Kroesbergen, he felt uncomfortable keeping this information to himself, especially since the topic was so prominent on the agenda.

‘We shouldn’t start seeing phantoms. We also hear very positive signals about the department and what is happening there’

Based on Vox’s investigation, Kroesbergen and Scholte see no reason to have another conversation with the lecturer or to conduct further investigation. Scholte says, ‘What happened is very serious, but as far as we know, there is no pattern. It all took place on that one evening.’

Furthermore, Kroesbergen states that her predecessor responded adequately to the report. ‘We trust that it was done correctly. They did what was necessary at the time. As far as we know, the complaint was handled satisfactorily, and there have been no further signals about this lecturer since then.’

Not Seeing phantoms

This is not the first time that transgressive behavior by a staff member has surfaced in the psychology department. Last September, the radio programme Argos revealed that a ‘yellow card’ had been issued to a professor in the department. After that broadcast, new reports and signals were received by the faculty board, prompting the announcement of a new external investigation. That investigation is currently underway.

The fact that a second case has now come to light is not a reason for the faculty board to worry about an unsafe culture within the department. ‘Of course, we are extra vigilant about that,’ says Kroesbergen. ‘We try to know as much as possible about what is happening within the faculty; we are in conversation with various parties, including the confidential advisors. I also walk around the corridors regularly, talk to people, ask if there are any issues.’ But she is not worried. ‘We shouldn’t start seeing phantoms. We also hear very positive signals about the department and what is happening there.’

At the same time, she points to the investigation into the professor, which is intended to ‘get the facts straight.’ Not only are the reports and signals about the professor being studied, but also the context, meaning: the colleagues with whom the professor works. ‘If that investigation reveals something we didn’t know before, then we will address it, of course.’

During the investigation, according to Kroesbergen, the professor will not appear on campus. She cannot say whether he is working for the university from home.

Translated by Siri Joustra

Great that you are reading Vox! Do you want to stay up to date on all university news?

Thanks for adding the vox-app!

Leave a comment

Vox Magazine

Independent magazine of Radboud University

read the latest Vox online!

Vox Update

A direct, daily or weekly update with our articles in your mailbox!