Statement on HAU from the Department board
The Department Board decided in the meeting September 4th, to make the following statement.
SAI has been a member of HAU net since its inception and we have been impressed by the activity and the output of the network. However, due to a lack of annual reports and accounts we ceased support in 2017 and asked for reassurances that the network was run in a way that secured transparency, both financially and organizationally. We note the accusations against the editor in chief from former members of staff with great concern, and will follow attempts at restructuring HAU net closely.
The current crisis at HAU demonstrates the necessity for future projects to only be supported by public institutions such as universities and university presses on condition that ownership of such projects and its assets are clearly visible, that it is clear that they are not structured in such a way that effective control lies in the hands of a single individual or small self-selected group of individuals and that there are clearly effective organizational structures in place to handle complaints of misuse of power in academic organizations. It is only in this manner that junior colleagues who volunteer to take part in such activities can feel confident that any complaints will be treated seriously.
The board has decided to not continue its support of HAU unless we receive convincing documentation that the networks is grounded in such an open and transparent organizational form that secures a safe working environment for its staff and that it retains its ideal of real open access. We call on other members of HAU net and other educational institutions to join us in committing to making such structures a precondition of support for HAU or other similar projects in future.