On October 12, YAT (Young Academy Twente) and the S&T Faculty Club organised the event "Everyone Professor", bringing together academics and enthusiasts for a profound discussion on the rights and responsibilities of academic staff.
The passionate discussion leaders, Jennifer Herek and Hinke Mulder, challenged two panel groups to delve deeper into intriguing issues, such as the value of academic titles (Dr., Professor, PhD), the wearing of academic gowns (which, according to the participants, slightly less important than obtaining promotion rights and holding the title), and the right to act as formal supervisor of PhD candidates (ius promovendi).
It was remarkable to witness both the panellists and the attendees in the hall actively participating in the discussion, leading to valuable insights and opinions on these topics. A recurring theme was the understanding that a professor can never operate in isolation, and recognition should not be attributed solely to the professor but to the entire team, including researchers, students, and staff. Additionally, the issue of non-professors, like UDs and UHDs, who secure funding for PhD candidates and mentor them but are unable to act as formal supervisors (i.e. promotors) was raised. Furthermore, they are not allowed to use the title of professor, which can sometimes lead to disadvantages in perception by external academics, such as when applying for grants.
In summary, the "Everyone Professor" event was an inspiring and invigorating gathering that met the needs of many to engage in academic dialogue about these subjects and contributed to keeping important discussions and questions alive within the academic community. Following the event, attendees had the opportunity to socialise and exchange further thoughts over a drink. We look forward to future events and discussions that will further disseminate these valuable insights within our academic community.