The distinguished dean of the University of Debrecen unexpectedly left the faculty he led for five years. The reason behind may have been a harassment case.

Last April, the position of Dean Péter Bálint as head of the Faculty of Child Education and Special Education of the University of Debrecen was unexpectedly revoked. The unusual decision made in the middle of the school year was not commented on, the news only reported on the successor of the former dean, who has been leading the faculty since 2015.

The dean’s mid-year departure was incomprehensible because, at the end of January 2020, he reported his multi-year plans, saying that one thing is “missing from our faculty: teaching. I can promise we may announce its arrival within 1-2 years.”

As the Hungarian news portal reports, Péter Bálint’s unjustified departure may be due to a harassment case, after an ethical investigation was carried out in 2019 at the University of Debrecen into the case of the expelled dean. This was also confirmed by a member of the institution’s ethics committee; according to whom

Ethical proceedings were initiated against the former dean on charges of harassment, and the proceedings ended with condemning the dean.

Based on the sources of the news portal, a female instructor reported the case that the former dean “was approaching her impermissibly”. The suspect did not admit the charge; he said that his style was more friendly and direct than insultive.

The former dean was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit in 2019. He was the editor and author of several books, and also the head of the Department of Literature, Communication and Cultural Anthropology of the faculty; however, his name is no longer listed there.

The university stated that “according to the institution’s Code of Ethics, ethical reports are investigated with immediate effect, and in the event of established violations,

the institution’s Ethics Committee finds that university management will take the necessary legal and employment action.”

Péter Bálint refused to comment on the case.

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