Executive Board of the RuG: Treat your and our professor with dignity!

Executive Board of the RuG: Treat your and our professor with dignity!

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Situation: Our NOHA Director, Joost Herman, from the Faculty of Arts, was suspended in March last year due to suspicion of fraud. In March 2014, he founded the NOHA Groningen foundation against university policy. The foundation, registered at the Faculty of Arts, has the following objectives: "to promote scientific activities by and through the Network On Humanitarian Action (NOHA) and in the field of humanitarian assistance in a broad sense." International subsidies went to the foundation, not the university itself, which then went to the NOHA education programme. The University Executive Board has admitted that the funds were not used for self-enrichment. 

During and after our studies we got to know Joost Herman as a very involved, honest and hard-working Professor. First as Director of studies at NOHA Groningen and then at the international NOHA Global network, he devoted himself with heart and soul to setting up a high-quality and international network. Many of us experienced this during our study and working life. NOHA alumni now hold valuable positions at, among others, the United Nations, Non-Governmental Organizations and universities, where they contribute to improving the situation of people experiencing humanitarian crises.

The establishment of the NOHA Groningen foundation, intended to increase efficiency and effectiveness, has been an irregular approach, but the response of the university seems a very disproportionate action to make a point. Joost Herman was ‘convicted’ by the University Executive Board before the investigation started and before any judicial process has begun. This is by definition to the detriment of all parties involved, including our educational programme and the university itself.

We call on the Executive Board of the University of Groningen to treat our Director Joost Herman with dignity. Don’t use him to set the wrong example. Please ensure a proper and proportionate process and carefully look after the reputation of Joost Herman himself, our education, and the university.

Read the statement of Professor Joost Herman here (in Dutch): https://issuu.com/dvhn/docs/verklaring_joost_herman_24012020_-_beveiligd