Dear Professor Nollkaemper, dear André,
Last Friday, 10 December, Follow The Money published an article about the appointment procedures and financing constructions of 'professorships by special appointment' (bijzonder hoogleraren) at our Faculty of Law.
The practices described in the article (potentially) affect the independence of the teaching and research carried out at our faculty. This extends beyond the researchers and professors who are directly sponsored by such financing schemes. As researchers at this faculty, we fear that our credibility as independent researchers is also at stake. In our opinion, such independence cannot be guaranteed by merely including an 'academic freedom clause' in the respective financing structure.
Therefore, we would like to know whether the faculty intends to publish an additional, more comprehensive statement (complementing the short statement, only accessible to employees, published on the faculty website on 14 December).
In addition, we hope that the faculty will also take this opportunity to formulate a clear, robust and open policy on private sector funding. This, following previous initiatives that seemingly went unheeded.
Given the motivation and the subject matter of our concerns, we are making this letter publicly available on 17 December via fundingacademia.nl.
We look forward to your reaction.