Philip Hans Franses is not yet finished as dean of the Erasmus School of Economics; he signed up for a third term.
The immense canvas of Franses on the sixth floor of the H-building needs no replacement, because the dean will happily stick around for four more years. Which is allowed, because in the Law on Higher Education and Scientific Research, there is nothing about a maximum number of terms. A short interview.
Does it fit nicely, that ESE-plush?
“It is just a very nice job. It is beautiful to be the dean of the faculty with which it all started a hundred years ago, isn’t it?”
Is a lustrum like this not the perfect moment to stop?
“Now that the faculty is doing great again, I’d like to continue in administrating it. When I started eight years ago, the ESE was in very bad financial shape and a thorough reorganization was the consequence of that. Now that everything is running, I would like to be involved in what still has to come: the reconstruction of the H-building, possibly start a dual education with Philosophy, and I want to do more with our thirty thousand alumni. In the US they are very good at that; we can learn a lot from them.”
Does this mean the definitive end of your scientific career?
“I’ll be 51, so I already had my scientific peak by now. So then you go into administration. What by the way played a part in the extension of my deanship was that there were no other candidates. The average age of our scientific staff lies below forty and they have no administrative ambitions yet. And that is how it should be: a PhD-student should not aspire to be dean.”
You have worked on Woudestein from 1987, why are you so stuck on base?
“I am not bored here for a single moment, and the atmosphere on the new campus is nice. Other countries ask me now and then whether I want to go into administration there, and although I am not looking for such an adventure right now, I don’t exclude anything. You never know.” LJ