Posted in Policy

Dean Franses: “I’ve got no management skills…”

Graduation Day 2009: the first graduation day in the large Aula, close to the Academy Awards style. The large stage area at one point is set foot upon by the Dean of the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Philip H. Franses. In a time span less than five minutes he manages to say something very stupid and shocking, while he did tell us the truth: he is not a manager – he is incompetent as a manager!
Friday, December 17, 2010

(Rotterdam) – About 200 graduates and their guests fill a large part of the Aula. Some professors are also present to see their students graduate and/or to hear if their nomination has resulted in a positive election for the professor of the year awards. The ESE-dean takes the stage right after Porsche-boss held his speech to thank him for visiting the Erasmus University (FYI: his son graduated in the IBEB-program).

Franses immediately decides to use some previous advice and confirms the prerequisites for leading a good and healthy firm: good management skills (1) and a good product (2). Franses continues by stating “I’ve got no management skills, but I do have a good product and that are the students.” Did the dean reveal the truth? Is he really incompetent as a manager?

Furthermore, Franses sees students as ‘products’ while students during protests earlier this year shouted not to compare universities with a factory and students with products. To be fair, comparing people with products is a bit demeaning and outs disrespect. The second part of his statement was therefore completely inappropriate while the first part is just embarrassing.

A dean lacking management skills: should we fear failure of the School?

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