The endowed professorship in Rotterdam is primarily a ‘policy device’. According to a study by Erasmus Magazine, this is how the university attracts and retains talented researchers.
Endowed professors do the same work as professors. The only difference is that an external party appoints and sometimes funds the professor. Of all the professors (475) at EUR, just under half (213) are endowed professors.
Sometimes there is no room for a ‘normal’ professor, because they are generally appointed for life. In order to accommodate talented researchers, the university chooses to appoint someone as an endowed professor. This is called a career chair.
In order to follow the letter of the law, the Erasmus Trustfonds ‘vests’ (appoints) these endowed professors. In practice, this is a formality. The university chooses and funds the endowed professor itself.
Rarely externally funded
A debate occasionally flares up about endowed professors who are funded by an external party. It is claimed that their independence could be at risk. In Rotterdam, this seldom appears to be the case. Most of these endowed professors fall under the category career chair. In these cases, there is therefore no external funding.