As of January 1, 2023, Wico Verbaan is the new ombuds officer of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR). As ombuds officer he contributes to a healthy and safe working environment within the university and the learning capacity of the organization. He works independently, impartially and neutrally.
Both students and employees can contact the ombuds officer for questions and problem situations related to studying or working at EUR. The ombuds officer can offer support for questions, dilemmas or conflicts on the shop floor or in a study programme. The ombuds officer can offer support in the form of an in-depth conversation, for example, or advice, referral, mediation or the institution of an independent investigation. All contacts with the ombuds officer are handled in confidence. The ombudsman is impartial and independent and is not subject to any authority.
The ombuds officer works independently, impartially, and confidentially. The ombuds officer may decide to investigate and to advise on structural problems and malpractices within the university.
Employees and students can contact the ombuds officer if there is a need for advice, mediation or possible investigation on the work floor or in the study programme; for example, where there are problems in cooperation, conflicts on the work floor or if undesirable behaviour has become structural and long-lasting.
- Advising groups and/or individual staff and students about the question, dilemma or conflict raised.
- Adequate referral to the appropriate support facilities within the Healthy & Safe Working network (e.g., confidential counsellors, study advisors, PhD psychologist), primarily within the EUR, but, if necessary, outside the EUR.
- Mediating and bringing parties back into discussion within appropriate organisational structures.
- Conducting (a formal) investigation and making recommendations based on this.
- Mapping the culture with regard to behaviour, making it discussable and improving it and advising the Executive Board.
- Draw up an annual report and submit it to the Executive Board and Erasmus Labour Council (ELC).
At the start of the ombuds function in 2019, the EUR had indicated in its action plan that the function would be evaluated after two years by an external agency. This evaluation has been carried out by the Governance & Integrity bureau and they have delivered their final report in 2022. This report has already been discussed with various bodies and an implementation plan is currently being drawn up to follow up on the recommendations. The results will be shared with the organisation in February 2023.
The ombuds officer annually draws up an annual report with the most important findings and conclusions of the past (college) year and with recommendations for the future. The annual report 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 can be found below.
Wico Verbaan supported organisations in various sectors from various roles. He was involved in, or led, a large number of investigations and advisory processes in the field of criminal offences such as fraud, corruption, money laundering, violation of (internal) regulations, (sexual) harassment and other undesirable behaviour and whistleblower reports.
Download the ombuds officer's annual reports.
EUR Ombuds officer