Saturday 01 April 2023

University cleared to sack lecturer who spread conspiracy theories

Groningen University’s main admin building. Photo:

A court in Groningen has agreed that Groningen University may sack a lecturer who reportedly spread conspiracy theorists during lessons.

Tjeerd Andringa was suspended last year after university paper Ukrant published an article on how he tried convince students of his ‘alternative truths’. The article led to his course on ‘Systems View on Life’ being cancelled.

UKrant spoke to 12 students about Andringa’s lessons and studied feedback and correspondence about the course.

The students referred to his anti-Semitic ideas about the ‘dominant position of Jews’ and his belief in conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks in the US in 2001. Others spoke of his belief that vaccines cause autism and the lack of room for other opinions in discussion.

The university said it wanted to sack Andringa because his teaching methods did not meet its academic standards. ‘Andringa has his views on his teaching methods. We also have our views,’ a spokesman told RTV Noord.  ‘We couldn’t reach an agreement which is why we asked the courts to decide.’

Andringa said after the verdict that he had no comment to make, by mutual consent.

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