Wageningen acts on professor who took Saudi university cash

Part of the university complex. Photo: DirkV via Wikimedia Commons

A Wageningen University professor has been told he may not lead any research projects for two years after admitting that he had for years named a Saudi university as his main employer in academic publications.

Vincenzo Fogliano described the King Saud University as his primary place of employment for several years in return for money. The €146,000 in cash did not benefit him personally, but was used by PdD students to fund food technology research.

Earlier this month it emerged that the Saudi universities had been using foreign academics to try to boost their position in world rankings, both in the Netherlands and in Spain.

Wageningen’s own research has shown that six of its academics had been approached, but that Fogliano is the only one to cooperate. He admitted taking the money to the Volkskrant.

‘Fogliano was warned about this sort of transaction in 2018,’ university rector Arthur Mol told local broadcaster Omroep Gelderland. ‘But he has still changed his affiliation…. damaging the integrity of Wageningen’s research. That cannot be without consequences.’

If he reoffends, Fogliano will be sacked, the university said.

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