“What a private person can do, be it a journalist or an employee, an institution cannot. The university’s management has much less room for manoeuvre. We are law-abiding: we don’t leak, we don’t go public, we don’t tell stories, we don’t get personal. But the people who confront us do. News reports have appeared in the press which, being based on imperfect information, are damaging the reputation of the university and disrupting the community. The time has come to set the record straight,” this is how the Chancellor of the University began the briefing.
Ákos Domahidi summarised the events of the past period in the following points, and during the discussion of the topics, Ágnes Zsóka, Vice-Rector for Academic Development, also made several additions.
- Ethics procedures were completed, which concluded that no ethics abuse had been committed. Zoltán Ádám, who had been the whistleblower, challenged the decision in court. The court rejected his claim at first instance.
- The ethics review only looked at whether an ethical abuse had occurred. No ethical abuse was found during the fact-finding phase of the ethics review, but there was a strong suspicion that irregularities may have occurred. On the grounds of the university’s internal rules, an irregularity procedure had to be launched.
- The irregularity procedure identified irregularities in five areas. One of them is that in the case of the subject in question, one student was allowed to make up a missed assignment without submitting any request, while several others, including the student involved in the ethics review, were not, claiming that this possibility was not included in the subject datasheet.
- Colleagues who acted irregularly have been notified and have been informed by the employer of the employer’s decisions, which were necessary and proportionate. One written and four verbal warnings were issued.
- There was one case of termination of employment, but contrary to press reports, not due either to the ethics review or irregularities, but because Zoltán Ádám did not provide the correspondence necessary to establish the facts, the whole truth and clarify his role, even after having been requested to so five times during the irregularity procedure. So the reason for termination of employment is non-cooperation.
We firmly reject the idea that innocent students are being subjected to unfounded accusations in a highly publicised ethics case.
We strongly reject the use of rude and personally offensive language towards colleagues.
We firmly reject the manipulation of academic and wider public opinion and the tarnishing of the university’s reputation by individuals driven by vested interests.
Corvinus University of Budapest
“Corvinus has previously provided information on this topic in the following articles (with Hungarian versions)