In March 2020 it was announced that Severens was stepping down from his position as ESHPM’s Pro-Dean, after two persons had submitted complaints about him with EUR’s Commission on Sexual Harassment, Aggression and Violence. After having been notified of the complaints and carrying out an investigation of its own, the university decided to have the matter looked into by an external agency.

During the course of that external investigation Severens was allowed to stay on as a full professor, although he no longer taught lectures, nor served on any committees. Severens emphasised at the time that it was his own decision to resign from his position as the Erasmus School of Health, Policy & Management’s chief executive. He had served as a Pro-Dean since 1 January 2018.

“Having learned the results of this investigation, the two parties have arrived at the conclusion that it is better to part ways,” a spokesperson said in a statement, “in the interests of all parties involved and in the interests of having this matter resolved properly.” The spokesperson said that the university and the former Pro-Dean had made the decision by mutual consent.

Severens himself told EM that he had nothing to add to the ‘press release we agreed on’.