Cash is love and not every driver understands that

Susan Tauber may be fired. Tauber works at the University of Groningen (RUG); You study and learn how people exclude and discriminate against each other. Maybe I was last year Green Amsterdam Read the excellent article “Professional Bullies” about the abuse of power in universities, which Tauber wrote with three colleagues. Täuber is an expert in social safety, and actively tries to improve this safety in her work environment.

You might say an employee you’d like to get into as a university – they can also work with you in the NOS Sport editorial office. However, RUG wants to fire her for a seriously disrupted working relationship. Tauber also believes that relationships in her current department have been irreparably broken, but wants RUG to find her another position within the university. That’s why I went to court.

He ruled last week: The RUG government may sack Täuber. The working relationship was already seriously disrupted, and RUG made it reasonable enough that a re-appointment was not possible due to a lack of suitable vacancies within the organisation.

Big debt to RUG

Hmmm, as you think by now, a seriously troubled working relationship — maybe not an employee you want after all. But it’s not that simple. Because the court also states in the judgment that the blame for this broken working relationship lies largely with RUG. Legally, it doesn’t matter, the deactivation is done, then the dismissal is allowed.

The turmoil began with a dispute over promotion criteria, but escalated due to the university’s response to a Täuber article published in 2019 in Management Studies Journal. She used her personal experiences at RUG to show how top-down initiatives to increase diversity (gender) within an organization can sometimes have the opposite effect. In doing so, she criticizes the organization and the department in which she works. She doesn’t name names, doesn’t attack anyone personally, and explains why she chose that personal look.

No substantive discussion

Subsequently, its superiors showed once again that the ability to lead a university is not a requirement for obtaining an administrative position. Rather than listen first and then engage in a substantive conversation, they attacked the Täuber. Her supervisor emailed the department that the article was “inappropriate and harmful to the university and our department.” Tauber was called to the mat. She had to take a course to improve her “soft skills”. There was no substantive discussion in the department, although many colleagues wanted it.

I read it and thought about our education graduation party last Wednesday. Flores Bodens was an alumnus. An excellent student, but much more than that, the supervisor emphasized his dissertation in his speech. Boudens was very active in university politics and dared to constantly criticize everything that could be improved. No doubt many Utrecht University officials will breathe a sigh of relief now that his studies are over.

Critics embrace

Wrong, because, in the words of Buddens himself, his supervisor quoted him: “Criticism is the highest form of love.” Täuber writes something similar in her essay, albeit in an academic sense: “Senior academics should embrace their critics, as these are generally the employees most committed to the welfare of the organization.”

That’s how it is. Those who love the university want to help make it what it can be: a free, unified, and democratic society of knowledge that contributes to a better world. This model is often too far fetched in today’s academy, due to high work pressure, temporary contracts, unequal treatment, unnecessary hierarchies and incompetent managers. Whoever points this out is doing so because they love what the university can be so much that they have the courage to fight for change.

Criticism is love. But sadly they don’t need much love in RUG.

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