In a response to this honor, Wedel says that Holland should pursue external financing for research more actively. His chair at the University of Maryland, his present employer, is fully financed by Pepsico.
About his present position as honorary professor at the RUG, he says: “I visit Groningen a few times a year to teach some Ph.D. courses for Marketing Ph.D. students. I’ll be visiting in January, actually. I also work together with staff members of the Marketing department on papers. Maybe in the future, I will teach a brief course to research master students as well, that depends on the faculty.”
When we ask him about his opinion about companies financing scientific research he notes, “It all depends on the terms at which the funds are given. I don’t experience more or less scientific freedom here than I did in Groningen. Externally financed research increases the opportunities for research significantly. Dutch universities should seek out this type of financing more actively.”
Wedel does not think that American students are necessarily better than Dutch students. He likes the accessibility to Dutch higher educational system that students have. US universities, however, are managed more professionally. Class evaluations are taken more seriously and the consequences of underperforming are severe for staff members. Wedel receives near-perfect student evaluations. “I am glad I don’t have to worry about those kind of consequences.”
Wedel has been among the top Dutch economists for a while as he ranked third in 2005. Up till 2002, he worked at the faculty of economics as a professor of marketing research. He taught several courses, such as Marketing Research Methods. A few years ago, Wedel accepted a position at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. He recently moved to the University of Maryland to become the Pepsico Professor of Consumer Science.
The ESB ranking is based on the amount and importance of international scientific publications by the participants in a particular period. The ranking started in 1980. It was published under the name A.D.S. de Schuite which is an anagram for ‘Dutch disease.’ One of the people behind the ranking was actually Tom Wansbeek, the current Dean of the faculty of Economics. Over the years, the ranking has gained significant importance among economists.
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