An article about the former interim Dean of the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC), who had recently left the school, appeared in the NRC last Tuesday. In her previous position as Rector of the University of Amsterdam, Van den Boom had copied some parts of her Foundation Day address without citing the source. She was also thought to have handled sources carelessly in her thesis and in a scientific article. On Thursday EM also reported that multiple passages were plagiarised in the advisory report on the future of the ESHCC, on which Van den Boom had worked for the past year and a half.

Engels stated during the Council meeting that he was ‘shocked’ to have had to read about these accusations in the newspaper. “Someone must have told them to investigate [Van den Boom]. An academic should have been aware of the correct procedures rather than going straight to the NRC”, stated Engels, referring to Scientific Integrity Committee procedures. “These can be found easily on our website.”

Engels considers it ‘problematic’ that such procedures were not followed. “I’m concerned about this.” The Executive Board was, however, aware of the accusations of plagiarism in Van den Boom’s advisory report: the ESHCC Faculty Council had already informed the Executive Board immediately after the report’s publication. An NRC journalist had also already spoken with Van den Boom about the accusations in early April, some two months prior to the publication.