Dr. H.H.F. (Herman) Wijffels
Honorary supervisor Prof. Dr. Th.C.M.J. van de Klundert - 1998 - Faculteit Economische Wetenschappen
Herman Wijffels (IJzendijke, 1942) studied general economics at the then Katholieke Hogeschool Tilburg from 1959 to 1964.
After that he, also a farmer's son, worked at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and at the Dutch Christian Employers Association where he was general secretary. Wijffels worked at Rabobank Nederland, from 1981 as a member of the Executive Board and from 1986 to 1999 as Chair of the Executive Board, after which he was appointed as Chair of the SER.
Cobbenhagen had already died when Wijffels began his studies at Tilburg as a 17-year-old, but the tradition he established was deeply rooted in the School. In the Volkskrant, which interviewed him on the occasion of his honorary doctorate, he said: "Working on economic and social development. That's how we were trained in Tilburg, in the 1960s. It's a way of looking beyond things. You can look at economics, both the activity and the profession, from a technical perspective, but you can also ask yourself: what am I doing it for? What is the point of an ever-expanding economy?"
In the period following his honorary doctorate, Wijffels was also a member of the university's Board of Governors for some time. He was also administrator at the World Bank and informateur in the second Rutte administration. He was decorated royally several times and was the namesake of several committees, including the one on the future of livestock farming (2001), on the future role of (Large) Technological Institutes and on the structure of Dutch banks (2013).
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