There are many aspects to professor life. There are good sides and bad sides. Some of them are invaluable, such as interactions with students, priceless contributions to science, and the feeling of being at the frontiers of knowledge. Other sides are not invaluable such as compensation.
According to the financial report of WUR, a professor holding a personal chair made 365.547 and a half euro in 2017.
That’s a lot of euros!
However, the financial report is not very clear whether this concerns just one personal professor or all personal professors. But did you notice all these people driving Lamborghinis lately?
Sadly for professors though, according to Dutch law, civil servants are actually not allowed to make more money than the prime minister and professors are in fact civil servants.
But in 2017, the PM made just 181.000, and a professor holding a personal chair made double… Somewhere in the calculations something must have gone wrong!
We redid the calculations:
€365.547,50 > €181.000,00
Luckily the financial report can help us clarify why the norm was exceeded. They wrote it down underneath.
‘It is because of exceptional achievements.’
Nice work Prof! You’re doing an exceptional good job! Matthijs van Nieuwkerk would be proud.
How exceptional then do you need to be, to make exemptions from law? We asked around and an inquiry at the Wageningen communications office clarified:
‘It was a way of honoring an exceptional achievement’ (!).
Aha! Clear! Tell me more!
‘Unfortunately, privacy does not allow us to tell more…’
Ah. Sad. Privacy is private.
‘But, it is not the salary of the professor in question.!’
So, there you have it. It does seem to be just one professor and this professor is exceptional and values privacy (stop looking for Lamborginis people!).
Further investigations in the year plan of 2017 do hint what an exceptional achievement might encompass:
‘The professor received a compensation for a patent’.
Couldn’t they just have told me in the first place?
Anyway, it was a bit of a one year thing, because in 2018 the best earning professor holding a personal chair made a mere 197,232.61.
It must be said, that’s still a better wage than the prime minister gets, but restrictions are so darn restricting!
We are looking forward to 2019’s financial report.