Appeals court upholds former professor Joost Herman’s dismissal
Jouke de Vries, president of the board of directors at the UG, announced the news during a university council meeting on Thursday morning. The Arnhem/Leeuwarden court’s verdict isn’t public yet and therefore hasn’t been published yet, but De Vries told the council he was informed of the verdict on Wednesday.
The Groningen court decided last March that the UG’s dismissal of the professor was justified. The university fired him in January of this year for subsidies fraud and falsification of documents.
Herman is alleged to have used the private foundation Stichting NOHA Groningen (SNG) to gain access to European subsidies that were intended to go to the Groningen NOHA programme. The UG says the foundation was set up without its knowledge and therefore the funds were used outside the university’s purview.
In March, a judge agreed with the university’s reasoning. By running the money through SNG, Herman ensured the university had no control over the funds, making it impossible for the UG to decide how the money was being spent.
The judge said Herman’s actions were ‘reprehensible’ and made him ‘seriously culpable’, even if Herman never intended to profit off his actions or damage the UG in any way. The judge therefore decided the UG was right in dismissing the professor. This court has confirmed it once again, said De Vries.