FEB's Associate Dean for International Affairs has been appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau today. Mayor P. van Veen of Haren presented the Decoration in the Senate Room of the Academy Building.
Frans Rutten (Wijchen, 1951) has enjoyed a sparkling managerial career at the University of Groningen. His leadership has inspired many people to work and develop ideas with him, leading to impressive results for the University of Groningen in general and the Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) in particular. In the years sine 1991, he has worked as Vice Dean for Education at the Faculty of Arts and later at FEB, just two of the positions he has held. In all his roles, Rutten has focused to a great extent on internationalization at the University of Groningen, and has from the start been a pioneer in various forms of international collaboration. Rutten became Associate Dean for International Affairs and International Accreditations at FEB, coordinating and initiating collaboration with prestigious international partners. He is the driving force behind the Faculty’s large international network, which attracts many partner institutions.
Developing a large, high-quality network is one thing, but it is quite another to maintain it and keep it functioning effectively. It is to Rutten’s credit that the FEB and the University boast an influential international network. His active participation in international boards and committees allowed him to continue finding excellent partners for the UG.
Rutten worked with great élan on internationalization at FEB, making the case as early as 2001 for the Faculty to pursue accreditation by the AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. He was aware that this American accreditation is awarded only to Faculties which show that they offer high quality and operate in an international environment in all respects (teaching, research, facilities and contacts in civil society and the corporate world). From November, 2009, Rutten led the team that prepared in great detail for the audit and the Peer Review Committee visitation. And with success – in 2011, following a successful audit, the Faculty was awarded the much-coveted ‘AACSB accredited’ label.
This is not the only international accreditation FEB achieved under Rutten’s leadership. Even in the early years following the Faculty’s formation, Rutten made his ambition known to achieve both the AACSB and the EQUIS accreditations for FEB. In 2011, the demands of the European Quality Improvement System seemed to be beyond the Faculty’s reach, yet Rutten insisted that FEB should in any case explore a strategy which would allow successful completion of this European-level assessment. His tireless work in this direction gathered more and more support fr his cause and led to important changes. The Faculty became more selective in the relationships it entered into with international partners, the degree programmes were crystallized further and great attention was paid to societal impact and contacts with businesses and governments. The reward came in 2014, when FEB was accredited by EQUIS. This exceptional achievement (only 1% of business schools worldwide hold both the AACSB and the EQUIS accreditations) can for a large part be attributed to Rutten’s relentless work, his vision and his ability to enthuse people.
Rutten spent ten years leading a development project along with the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, which aimed to develop professional degree programmes at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels in Communication Studies, Translation and Arts Management. During these ten years, he showed great commitment to this special project, in the last three years even after leaving his position as Vice Dean for Education at the Faculty of Arts to fill the same role at the Faculty of Business. Frans Rutten has been appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau.
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