Honorary doctorates and chairs

Honorary doctorates and chairs

Menkveld banner URC

As of 1 January 2013 Albert Menkveld (Finance) is appointed professor in the University Research Chair Programme.

In 2010 Albert Menkveld received a VIDI grant of NWO for his research on the economic crisis and the financial markets. He is regularly asked by European and US media for his expertise. He was voted 'Best Alumnus' by the Tinbergen Institute.

Global securities markets and the microsecond
Automation has completely transformed trading on financial securities markets. In some ways it is an unsettling prospect: a computer error could take these markets down in less than a second. Econometrician Albert Menkveld studies the architecture of the financial system, and recommends structural improvements.

We’ve all been there. You’re surfing the net looking for a cheap flight and you return to the best deal after shopping around only to find the ticket price has gone up... Well, you have Albert Menkveld to thank for that! After gaining his degree in econometrics, he started at KLM and was part of a team that developed algorithms to optimize ticket prices. But after a year, the intellectual challenge began to wane and Menkveld finally opted for a career in science. He has become an internationally renowned expert in the automation of the financial markets.

One of his goals is to end a pointless arms race in the securities markets that is devouring millions of euros. It’s a race that revolves around microseconds. Robots have taken over the role of human traders. In less than a second, these high frequency traders (HFTs) can decide whether to buy or sell. And, they continue to increase their action speed. Menkveld believes it potentially is a waste of economic resources. 'These machines already make decisions in under a millisecond. In the time it takes our brains to even register a price, an HFT has already traded 100 times. But they want to up the speed to microseconds, millionths of a second.'

Full interview with Albert Menkveld

VU University Research Chair
VU University Research Chair (URC) is a selective and privileged appointment as full professor at university level. The chair has been created to recognize and reward outstanding scholars at the rank equivalent to associate professor who are acknowledged by their peers as upcoming leaders in their research field.

More information
Albert Menkveld's website
University Research Chair webpage

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Prince Bernhard and the former Minister of Finance, Gerrit Zalm. However diverse this list of names may be, there is one thing they have in common: they have all made outstanding contributions in the field of science, politics or culture and have been awarded with honorary doctorates by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam between 1930 and the present day.

The recipients of honorary doctorates who represent SBE are:

Z.K.H. Bernhard Prins der Nederlanden Prins van Lippe Biesterveld1965
P. Hoffmann1965
A.B. Frielink1980
G. Zalm2008

Zalm, Gerrit 
Gerrit Zalm
Youth, Sport and Reconciliation
The Desmond Tutu chair, ‘Youth, Sport and Reconciliation’, was founded in 2007 to commemorate the visit by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The university wishes to honour Desmond Tutu’s lifelong and peaceful efforts for a fairer society, all over the world, through the establishment of the chair. Tutu is an international symbol for peace and reconciliation as a result of his unremitting battle against apartheid, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, and his chairmanship of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa.

The chair has led to the development of the Desmond Tutu Programme (DTP), which is aimed at strengthening academic collaboration between VU Amsterdam and its six partner institutes in South Africa. The DTP-based collaboration consists of the following:
  • joint supervision of South African PhDs;
  • performing academic research;
  • encouraging student exchanges at Master’s and Bachelor’s level.

The programme is coordinated by SAVUSA (South Africa – VU Amsterdam – Strategic Alliances).

VU Amsterdam has maintained relations with South Africa for more than 125 years, and hopes to further strengthen scientific cooperation between the Netherlands and South Africa with the Desmond Tutu Programme and the five chairs.

The VU Amsterdam Desmond Tutu chair of Youth, Sport and Reconciliation will be occupied by five professors from different faculties for a period of five years. The SBE representative is:

WhoProfessorInaugural lecture
Elbers, ChrisChris Elbers will concentrate on the fight against poverty and development.14-10-2009 (in Dutch)

Teaching and research
Professor Chris Elbers studied econometrics and mathematical economics at the University of Amsterdam, and obtained his Master’s at VU Amsterdam. Since 1984, he has been a member of the Development Research Group in the economics department. His most important research activities are in the field of poverty measurements and effect evaluation.

Inaugural lecture
Chris Elbers’s research activities in the Desmond Tutu Programme will cover poverty and anti-poverty programmes at the micro level of individuals and households, paying particular attention to opportunities for young people. This could entail both contributions to poverty measurements and evaluations of possible inequalities of the effects of anti-poverty programmes.

In 'Op zoek naar de juiste maat' (Looking for the right measure) professor Elbers emphasises the need for sound empirical research in development economics and related policy recommendations. Too often, policy is made based on largely theoretical assumptions, whereas empirical research should not be omitted.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has launched the Fenna Diemer-Lindeboom* (FDL) chair programme in order to promote female scientific talent on its way to the top and to address the lack of female professors. Female assistant and associate professors are proposed for the FDL chair by the faculties and are appointed for a maximum period of 5 years. The FDL professor will then be offered a full professorship if she has performed successfully. All FDL-candidates of the first period 2005-2010 have been installed as professor during or after the FDL-professorship. The FDL chair helps faculties to identify female talent within their organization and remove the last obstacles to a full professorship.

Fenna Diemer-Lindeboom professors

Anna Gold
Anna Gold
Professor of Auditing
Svetlana KhapovaSvetlana Khapova
Professor in Careers and Organization Studies
Herk, Hester van 80x100Heser van Herk
Professor in Cross-Cultural Marketing Research
Hofkes, Marjan 80x100Marjan Hofkes
Professor in Environmental Economics

* Fenna Diemer-Lindeboom
(1913-2004) studied Law at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and obtained a PhD in 1937. During WWII she defended people who were arrested for their resistance work, together with her husband. Fenna Diemer-Lindeboom studied the bible on the position of women in society and published several books about the relation between men and women. Mostly she is known for her fight for passive women voting rights in her party, the Anti-Revolutionaire Partij (ARP).