In Memoriam: Roland Van Dierdonck

It is with sadness that we say goodbye to Prof Dr Em Roland Van Dierdonck. Roland was Dean of Vlerick Business School from 1998 to 2007. A professor in Operations Management, he taught hundreds of Vlerick students the capstone Operations Management course.

Prof Dr Em Roland Van Dierdonck was Civil and Industrial Engineer (Ghent University) and Doctor in Business Administration, Harvard University (USA). Before his deanship he was an assistant-professor at IMD, Lausanne, visiting research scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA) and visiting professor at INSEAD (France) and Rotterdam School of Management (The Netherlands) and various other schools and universities. He was widely respected in the academic and business school community, also through his work for the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

Roland steered the school on a path to autonomy, internationalisation and growth. It was under his leadership that we moved the school to our current campus in Gent, and we merged our activities with those of the KU Leuven MBA, which resulted in the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, as independent business school with 2 parent universities.

Those who worked with him would describe him as humble, diligent, intelligent, a listener more than a talker. That he was loved was the most clear at the surprise celebration that awaited him at the end of his deanship. Those who were there will remember the warmth in the room towards a person who had led the school through a flourishing era with dedication and grace.

We will remember him with gratitude and respect.

Marion Debruyne
Dean Vlerick Business School

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