I have to do a dissertation on William Jay Lorsch and Paul R. Lawrence, so I was looking for information, but I found a term of which I don't know the meaning. The complete sentence is:

Jay W. Lorsch is the Louis Kirstein Professor of Human Relations at the Harvard Business School.

What does it mean to be the Louis Kirstein Professor? Is it some sort of a term used in English to refer to some kind of statute for a teacher or something?

I've tried to find the meaning of this term and I have not found it anywhere.

  • 4
    This is an honorary title. Many universities have such titles named after faculty members (usually) who contributed importantly to the university, their field of study, or were important humanitarians somehow associated with the university. – A.Ellett May 25 '15 at 2:37
  • In addition to @A.Ellett's explanation, it is often that someone makes a bequest in their will or a trust fund to support the salary of a professorship. So in this example (I don't know if this is true or not), Louis Kirstein gave some money to the department, and it was used to support Prof. Lorsch. He is a professor of Human relations, or more grandiosely called the Louis Kirstein professor of Human Relations (giving Kirstein credit for supporting the fellowship). – Mitch May 26 '15 at 0:42

The "Louis Kirstein Professorship" (or Louis Kirstein Chair) is an academic position founded or sponsored by, or in the name of, Louis Kirstein. Kirstein was probably a distinguished academic in the field, or he may have been a rich philanthropist. In any case the holder of the position is called the "Louis Kirstein Professor". Holding a named professorship usually means you are an extremely distinguished academic.

Note that this is an answer for named professorships in general. I haven't looked up the details of the actual Louis Kirstein Chair.

  • Specifically, Louis Kirsten was co-founder and president of the prominent Filene's department store chain and a well-known figure in Boston-area philanthropy, especially for Jewish causes. The naming of a professorship (or deanship) at many institutions signifies that it is an endowed position; the position being free from budgetary concerns, it is thus particularly attractive and competitive to attain. – choster May 25 '15 at 3:32

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