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Essec, one of France’s leading business schools, has appointed a law professor as its next dean. Jean-Michel Blanquer, who was director general of schools in France from 2009 to 2012, will join Essec on July 1.

Prof Blanquer will replace Pierre Tapie, who announced his resignation in November 2012 after 10 years in the job.

Prof Blanquer is one of a number of deans appointed recently to the top French business schools from outside the traditional business school environment. ESCP Europe, for example, appointed history professor Edouard Husson as dean in August 2012. And in March 2012, EM Lyon appointed engineering professor Philippe Courtier, a meteorologist, to the top job.

Prof Blanquer previously taught at several French universities, including Universities of Paris II, Tours, Lille and Paris III-Sorbonne Nouvelle. His appointment was agreed unanimously by the seven members of the search committee, which included two Essec alumni and two professors - Vincenzo Esposito-Vinzi, dean for faculty, and Patrice Poncet, eminent professor of finance.


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