Following the resignation of Edouard Husson as dean just six weeks ago, ESCP Europe has appointed one of the most well-known French business academics to take charge at the five-campus business school.
Frank Bournois, who was chairman of the National Committee for the Evaluation and Accreditation of Business Schools between 2010 and 2013, and is currently management professor at Panthéon-Assas University in Paris, will officially take over the top job in August.
The appointment of the dean at ESCP, which lays claim to be the world’s oldest business school, is determined by the Paris chamber of commerce and industry (CCI), and ratified by the school’s European board. The CCI Paris Île-de-France, which was created through the merger of the Paris and Versailles chambers of commerce, oversees all three of the top-ranked business schools in the Paris region – HEC Paris, Essec and ESCP – as well as the undergraduate business school Novancia.
Prof Bournois’s strong political links, and his knowledge of the French university system, will make him an ideal candidate for the top job. He also knows ESCP well - he was affiliate professor there between 1999 and 2007 and set up a chair at the school on executive governance. “In France you need to be in the two systems to understand how things work,” says Prof Bournois.
The new dean also has strong links with European business and is a specialist in leadership training and in benchmarking top European companies, which will be useful in developing the school. ESCP has a very strong European strategy and ethos, says Prof Bournois. “It has a European identity and global perspective. I don’t know of any other business school that has five fully-fledged campuses.”
Consolidating and deepening the European agenda, and building a strong community between professors and staff will be top of Prof Bournois’s agenda. He will also implement his predecessor’s strategy of launching a European undergraduate programme, probably in 2015, and developing the school’s online capabilities.
Prof Bournois received his own academic qualifications from EMLyon and University of Lyon III in France, and Aston in the UK. He has also taught at Oxford and Cranfield and was a visiting fellow at Princeton.
Pierre Koch, secretary general of ESCP and a non-academic, is currently acting as interim dean of the school.