Nicola Kleyn. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS
Nicola Kleyn. Picture: RUSSELL ROBERTS

Nicola Kleyn, dean of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs) since 2015, will leave at the end of June to take up a senior role at one of Europe’s leading business schools.

She has been appointed dean of executive education at the Rotterdam School of Management, in the Netherlands. She is due to start in August but that may be delayed by travel and other restrictions caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

The Rotterdam school is part of Erasmus University.

Kleyn, who has been at Gibs since its launch in 2000 as a faculty of the University of Pretoria, was due to leave at the end of April but agreed to stay until June because of Covid-19 disruptions. She told the university in May 2019 that she would not extend her five-year contract, but no successor has been named yet.

University vice-chancellor Prof Tawana Kupe said on Friday: “The position has been advertised but the process is being delayed by current lockdown measures. If the process is not completed by the time Nicola leaves, we will appoint an acting dean.”

Kleyn said on Friday that her contract was for four years, after which she would have the opportunity to take on a professorial role within the school. She added that, given the existing relationship between Gibs and Rotterdam, which includes student exchanges, she hoped to still teach occasionally at Gibs.

Under Kleyn, Gibs has reinforced its reputation as a leading business school. This week, it was named SA’s — and Africa’s — top provider of executive education, in the London Financial Times’s 2020 business school rankings. It was ranked 38th in the world.

The school has also just been named joint winner — along with Henley Business School and Standard Bank — of an international executive education effectiveness award presented by the European Foundation for Management Development.

furlongerd@businesslive.co.za