University covered up for scholar accused of fraud, harassment: reports

University covered up for scholar accused of fraud, harassment: reports
The Université Libre de Bruxelles has been allegedly been covering up for a scholar accused of harassment, scientific fraud and other accusations for years. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) is facing accusations of years of covering up for one of their faculty members targetted by several accusations including scientific fraud and harassment as well as by a financial inquiry, according to reports on Monday.

A report submitted to French-speaking daily La Dernière Heure gathers a series of accusations made against an unnamed faculty member. The document reportedly provides proof that from 2003 to 2016, the university protected the scholar, as did the National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS).

The outlet said that the report, hundreds of pages long, lists many accusations made against the faculty member and proves that he benefited from "great leniency from the governing bodies" of the ULB.

Listed in the report is evidence of an internal inquiry into an alleged "moral harassment" case, a financial inquiry, a second harassment complaint, and a criminal complaint, after the scholar allegedly failed to provide assistance to another person put in danger during clinical trials.

"Proof" that the faculty member committed scientific fraud is also included in the file, together with a series of media articles gathered over fourteen years, for work he carried out chiefly for the ULB, Belgian media reports.

The news comes after the French-speaking university in June was rocked by reports of systemic harassment within the dentistry faculty, after current and former students built a report recording several testimonies of harassment, bullying, and insults at the hands of faculty personnel.

The unnamed scholar concerned by the fraud and harassment accusations was reportedly let go from the FNRS in 2016, 14 years after he was targetted by an inquiry.

The national research body said his dismissal was due to the "existence of repeated errors," which prompted the ULB to no longer authorise him to undertake a thesis.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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