“I am shocked and very disappointed,” rector magnificus Arthur Mol said on the university’s website. According to the rector, the professor acted incorrectly and damaged the integrity of Wageningen science.

Fogliano works full-time at Wageningen, but adapted his ‘first affiliation’. That is, the much-quoted scientist pretended that King Saud University was his primary employer so that the Saudi university would score higher in international rankings.

For that, his department received 146,000 euros. With this, a PhD student in food science was paid, reports the university. There was no evidence of personal gain.

Warned in 2018

Fogliano was reportedly warned about such transactions back in 2018. He has now been reprimanded, with the threat of dismissal in case of a next misstep. Furthermore, he has been stripped of his ‘chairmanship’ for two years, although he will still remain a professor.

According to Wageningen University’s internal investigation, at least six much-cited Wageningen scientists have been approached by Saudi universities. Only professor Fogliano took up that offer.