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After bullying scandal: It is a sad day for the ETH

the new President of ETH Zurich Joël Mesot had not presented his first press conference. He must begin with an apology: "I would like to ask on behalf of the ETH Zurich'm sorry to everyone affected by the misconduct of their superiors behaviour."

The ETH responds to the negative headlines and bullying allegations. The University today announced Thursday that they have requested the dismissal of a Professor of the former Institute for astronomy of the ETH-Council. The Professor is accused of years of doctoral harassed. To become aware of bullying, the Professor was incident on leave, and an investigation was launched. It would be the first dismissal of a Professor in the history of the ETH. "It is a sad day for the ETH," says Mesot. The Partner of the Professor, the head of the Institute, must continue to work at ETH.

It was a difficult decision, says Mesot. It was a high profile scientist. The supervision of doctoral candidates would not have been, however, to entrust. The ratio was very disturbed.

No misconduct in research

another investigation against the same astronomy Professor because of suspected misconduct in research has been completed. "The investigation Commission came to the conclusion that no misconduct in research exists," said the ETH.

The ETH has decided to take this step, although the conscripts Commission came to the conclusion that a dismissal from a legal point of view, is rather justified, it is said in the message. The Commission noted that the Professor was only shown a yellow card late, and they had to adapt, thus no possibility of your behavior. Nevertheless, the Commission also notes that the behavior of the Professor was due to the strong dependency of the doctoral candidate is unacceptable, and that the Professor will show no insight that they have acted improperly. She was accompanying a close to and could never actually more, but at least two years, no Doctoral student support, writes the ETH.

Mesot not exclude the possibility that it will come again in the future to such cases, but to avoid them as much as possible, will> the ETH Zurich


reduce The ETH of a package of measures to improve the management and care situation launched. Falls below, for example, that from 2020 onwards, doctoral candidates are always multiple need to be looked after. Also, the contracts for doctor be adapted to students in order to reduce the dependency ratio of doctoral students. This means that employment contracts and their limitation "can be exercised no more pressure on doctoral students," says the President of ETH Zurich. The ETH expect from their members show respect for each other, anything else was unacceptable, so Mesot.

Also ETH rector Sarah Springman commented at the media conference. It is responsible for the teaching at the ETH Zurich: "The most serious is the large dependence of the doctoral students from their professors." This Problem must be rapidly solved on a structural level. You want with regular rounds of Feedback, the exchange between doctoral students and caregivers will be encouraged. So problems could be detected early and addressed right at the beginning.

in addition to the multiple care and the new contracts, the University launched further measures. The ETH wants to involve the non-professorial academic staff and the students in the appeal process and the assessment of "reasonable" take into account. An extensive orientation program for new professors, was launched and is now in use. A new guide to recruitment will help professors with the prospective doctor, the mutual expectations, as well as the rights and obligations of the testator to be clarified. The various calls and alarm points of the ETH would be trained from the fall of 2019 on a regular basis, and the Ombudsman's office was expanded from two to three persons. New two handle (a) persons of trust behavior in the cases of possible scientific misconduct.

reports of sexual harassment and disrespectful behavior in the future should be about a reporting office in the personnel Department dealt with. "Still in examination is whether, in addition, an external alarm is to be set up," said the message.

changes needed

Until the summer of 2019, dealing with reports and complaints will be dealt with in a new and accelerated. The goal is that messages are addressed promptly and their treatment could be completed if possible within six months. The Case Management will be gradually expanded to a Team.

The ETH rector, Springman absorbs any high expectations: Such profound changes would need time. However, the ETH since ready to pursue this path.


Created: 14.03.2019, 11:02 PM

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