Using Online Photo Galleries to Celebrate Academic Culture

To offer a glimpse into its academic culture, the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands created dedicated areas on its website for photographs of the defenses and degree conferrals of its doctoral students.
Using Online Photo Galleries to Celebrate Academic Culture
BUSINESS SCHOOLS go to great lengths to build a sense of community and attract attention to their scholarship, but often it takes only simple strategies to highlight the value of academic work. For example, to offer a glimpse into its academic culture, the Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands created dedicated areas on its website for photographs of the defenses and degree conferrals of its doctoral students.

RSM maintains an online gallery of photos that document more than 300 defenses. The school posts permanently published profile pages of each PhD project, which include links to profiles of projects on related subjects; and faculty link their personal pages to the profile pages of the students they’ve supervised.RSM also maintains a searchable directory of PhD dissertations and posts short video summaries of their content. In addition, Chris Gorzeman, the school’s photographer who captures images of every RSM ceremony, has created an online photo gallery highlighting academic life at RSM; he offers his services to PhD students who wish to visually document the culmination of their years of work.

“We use these photographs as a way to recruit new PhD candidates, by showing the lively academic culture in the school. We find them especially valuable to reach international students who want to learn about academia,” says Wilfred Mijnhardt, RSM’s policy director and former executive director of its Erasmus Research Institute of Management. “They provide a beautiful view into the nature and ceremonial dimension of academic life.”

To see RSM’s commissioned photographer’s photo gallery, visit www.phdphoto.nl. To see RSM’s photo gallery of doctoral defenses, visit gallery.erim.eur.nl/index.php/ERIM-PhD-Defences-1774202523. See an example of a doctoral project profile page at www.erim.eur.nl/doctoral-programme/phd-in-management/phd-projects/detail/1212.