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ETH-procedure: This is a slap in the face to the women

Because something breaks down at the most prestigious University in the country. Allegations of sexual harassment and bullying, inadequate leadership and poor supervision at the ETH in Zurich, do not tear off. The Name of the ETH architecture Professor, appeared on a sub-architects internationally circulating an Excel list with the title "Shitty Architecture". In it: 200 international, some big names of architects, to which there are hundreds of reports of alleged sexual harassment. On the list of women warn, especially with each other – even in front of the renowned Professor of architecture at the ETH.

After the first media, the ETH did signaled to report to urge in this matter. In the "Tages-Anzeiger" said Vice President Antonio Togni last may, the ETH would soon "assume a pioneering role in the supervision of doctoral students", if the new measures are implemented. In September, the ETH President Lino Guzzella announced an internal investigation against those architecture Professor – and that he himself would not stand again for another term.

The University is rallying from

Last week, the investigation under the new President, Joël Mesot was a sudden and supposedly happy ending: no major problems reported, ETH, via a media release. The Professor had failed to separate his personal and professional relationships, too, which is why his behavior was not in accordance with the Compliance Guide to the ETH. the Sexual harassment in the criminal sense I can find is the external representative's attorney's office no. The Professor had decided on the basis of personal and professional stress due to the procedure leaving ETH Zurich at the end of July 2019.

As a burden, the employees took the procedures that were surveyed. "We had a Sabbatical needed," says a Person who wants to remain anonymous.

"The ETH was simply overwhelmed with the procedure and took care of mainly the own Reputation."Ex-employees

in the summer, further allegations were made public had affected students, scientific staff and doctoral students already have their Reports at the ETH Department "Equal!" submitted. What they did not know The Reports were landed at the Professor or his lawyers, which is not anonymized. An affected Person is to be on your Report, even from an external Person addressed. The Professor was now free, his lawyers were making to the defense strategy. Some Sufferers learned, after months of Silence on the part of the ETH from the press that an investigation had been initiated. Four Involved, the two women and men, confirmed this fact to the TA, want to remain anonymous.

"poisoned workplace"

In disciplinary proceedings against the Professor, opened a lawyer on behalf of the ETH, were just the persons interviewed as persons providing information. They were given no access to files. How the decision came to be, the Professor had only to be in breach of ETH-Compliance with the rules, don't know the people Concerned until today. "For us it is absolutely incomprehensible. He is not to bring seemingly unbearable way, with our personal experiences with the Professor in line," says a Respondent. A student says: "Not only the primary experience was traumatizing, even to the Writing of the report and the survey in a room full of lawyers were re-traumatising effect. The decision of the ETH is not disappointing, but insulting."

In the area of architectural issues: the exhibition in October 2015 at the ETH Zurich . Photo: Thomas Egli

About a dozen members of ETH Zurich Reports were submitted, nine of them were shortly after the announcement in the press invite to a survey. Advice on legal questions to the bot, ETH no-psychological support to large pressure. The women who raised allegations of sexual harassment, had to according to its own information, a confidentiality clause to sign. Even over the cost of acquisition, ETH was staff and students in the dark. "The Plan was that we would come without a lawyer to the first interrogation. The Professor, however, would be with his lawyers there," says a Respondent. This would have found out the Affected only after repeated follow up.

"The ETH was simply overwhelmed with the procedure and took care of mostly to your own Reputation," says an Ex-employee. Another says: "It was an extremely versatile poisoned workplace. The consequences not only we carry." His passion for architecture he had lost at the ETH.

No alignment on the Affected

The members of ETH searched for, finally, himself a lawyer. Since this week, they gather on a Crowdfunding platform costs money for the lawyer. After a long struggle, had declared the ETH willing to take between 1000 and 3000 Swiss francs per Person. The amount was used up in the case of several through the survey.

something has Judith Wissmann, for 30 years as a lawyer in the labor law, never seen before. The Director of the interdisciplinary expert-network "labour and conflict," says: "The whole process was characterised by the focus on the Professor, not on the Affected. He has done things that violate the personal integrity of the persons Concerned." According to the architecture magazine "Hochparterre", which reported yesterday on the story, inform the Professor now at a University in Italy. The result of the investigation, a slap in the face to the women and could not stand, said Wissmann: "We will bring the inspection report and files, and, in reference to the call for gender equality act, compensation for the Affected."


The ETH confirmed that in the disciplinary proceedings exclusively to the Professor's party, was awarded the position with full Rights. Therefore, there is neither a legal advice nor the accompaniment were intended for the be Concerned to the Interviews. The ETH have a mandate without a legal obligation for a lawyer. Also the cost of psychological counselling you have taken. "The external independent investigating officer has investigated the alleged misconduct by the Professor in the context of the disciplinary investigation in accordance with legal principles, and evaluated," says ETH-speaker Markus Gross. A second expert had followed his recommendation. The information should persons in their integrity strongly affected the feel, refers to the ETH to the civil or Criminal process route.

The report had to be addressed for the protection of the personality of all Parties as strictly confidential, since it was a personnel legal process, says Gross. "The President of ETH Zurich, however, has offered, in a Letter to the respondents, to stand for questions." A confidentiality agreement did not exist. The respondents have said just mutual agreements.

The leaflet is to be revised

In contrast to the Affected, the ETH says that it had informed in advance about the steps in the procedure. There was a need for a formal and anonymous message to the person Concerned. The authors of the Reports, but were at least in one of the preceding preliminary investigation phase to the Professor not been disclosed. The lawyers of the Professor refused to comment.

With your approach, the ETH stands alone. Other universities have detailed guidelines for cases of bullying or allegations of sexual harassment. At the Zurich University for Applied Sciences such controls such as the inspection of files and the position of the potential victim.

The ETH is working on the Revision of a leaflet on the subject. In addition, they installed the Website, "respect!". There are many beautiful words: "respect and responsibility", "open and fair communication", "honesty and integrity".


Created: 06.02.2019, 22:05 Uhr

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