UvA suspends lecturer Laurens Buijs
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has suspended the controversial lecturer Laurens Buijs after he called a Professor of Sociology and Gender & Sexuality Studies a dangerous extremist on Twitter.
According to the university, Buijs has described UvA colleagues and other academics on social media as “monsters”, “extremists”, “corrupt” and “dangerous”. He is alleged to have sent similar messages to colleagues.
The university says that the safe working environment is at risk, so he has been suspended. He is not permitted to teach anymore.
In an opinion piece for student magazine Folia in January, Buijs wrote that “non-binary” and the “obsession with personal pronouns” are “empty hype”. It caused a lot of controversy. Several UvA students called for Buijs to be banned from teaching.
Subsequently, the lecturer made use of the whistleblower regulation and raised concerns about the alleged ‘woke’ culture in his Faculty (Social and Behavioural Sciences).
The UvA says it is still taking his statement seriously: an independent external committee has been appointed; its report is due before the summer.
Buijs has some support across the country but is also controversial. Parliamentary questions have been asked about him and he is referred to in debates. Education Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf says in his answers that both a safe working atmosphere and academic freedom are essential for research and education. He is not prepared to comment further.
IMAGE: Nsey Benajah via Unsplash