‘Passport professor’ Kochenov has left the UG
According to news programme Nieuwsuur, the ‘Groningen faculty board’ insisted on Kochenov’s departure during meetings with him. But Kochenov says he simply found a better academic position elsewhere and that he left the UG of his own volition.
When asked about the matter, a UG spokesperson told UKrant: ‘Professor Kochenov has ended his relationship with the University of Groningen in order to accept a different academic position. He no longer works for the UG in a substantive capacity.’
Talk of the town
Kochenov became the talk of the town in 2019. According to Nieuwsuur, the academic, whose expertise earned him the nickname ‘the passport professor’, was advising the Maltese government about the trade in Maltese passports.
The sale of European passports isn’t illegal, but it is controversial. The news led to Parliamentary questions about Kochenov’s extracurricular activities, after which the UG started an internal investigation in November of 2019.
This investigation concluded that Kochenov wasn’t involved in the controversial trade of passports, but that he had failed to disclose extracurricular activities to the UG. Because he was paid for these activities, the investigation said it could lead to a conflict of interests. Kochenov received an official warning for not telling the UG about his activities.