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. (December 2012)
Royal warrant creating a Regius Chair in Mathematics at the University of Warwick
A Regius professor is a
royal patronage or appointment. They are a unique feature of
academia in the
British Isles. The
first Regius professorship was in the field of medicine, and founded by the Scottish King
James IV at
Aberdeen University in 1497. Regius chairs have since been instituted in various universities, in disciplines judged to be fundamental and for which there is a continuing and significant need. Each was established by a British monarch, and following proper advertisement and interview through the offices of the university and the national government, the current monarch still appoints the professor (except for those at the
University of Dublin in Ireland, which left the United Kingdom in 1922). This royal imprimatur, and the relative rarity of these professorships, means a Regius chair is prestigious and highly sought-after.
Regius professors are traditionally addressed as "Regius" and not "Professor".
Glasgow University currently has the highest number of extant Regius chairs, at thirteen.