The lecturer’s comment was a reference to Volkert van der G. – the man who murdered the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002. His employer received a mass of complaints in response. On Friday, Utrecht University announced that the lecturer in question ‘can expect to be invited to a meeting with the faculty board in the very short term’. After this, the university’s Executive Board will decide on possible disciplinary measures.

Set an example

The university believes lecturers need to set an example. “The staff member’s comment – even though it was made in his free time – is at odds with this role. We thoroughly deplore this.”

The university announced today that it had suspended the lecturer from his regular activities. “The whole affair has had such an impact and raised so many questions that we don’t want him to resume teaching before we have talked with him.”

The lecturer took down the post fairly quickly and has already apologised for it. He wrote the comment ‘in the heat of the electoral battle’, according to RTV Utrecht. Nevertheless, he has received a number of angry responses and death threats. He has since deactivated his personal Facebook account.