Honory doctorates 2002

Dr. A.C.J. (Ton) Rottier

Supervisor Prof. Dr. P.P. van Berkum - 1967 –Faculteit Economische Wetenschappen

Antoine Cyrille Julien Rottier (Sint Jansteen, 1910 - Heerlen, 1992) was the first honorary doctor of the university who had also studied there. In 1933, he took a doctoraal examination (Mater’s exam) in economics at the then Katholieke Hogeschool. After working at the Ministry of Economic Affairs for several years, he joined the State Mines in 1936, in the Department of General Affairs and Social Affairs.

Dr. A.C.J. Rottier

He was also the first industrialist to receive an honorary doctorate in Tilburg. This was because of what Honorary Doctor P. Van Berkum called his "responsible entrepreneurship"—in times of mine closures and the transformation of DSM into a chemical concern. Van Berkum, a fellow student of Rottier's: "Very early on, when these ideas were not yet commonplace, you pointed out that the influence of business on employment and prosperity had become so great that it was now impossible for its leaders to pursue a policy that was solely focused on the interests of the company itself, ignoring the social consequences."

Rottier had a keen interest in matters such as profit sharing and employee participation issues and, as secretary of the Rutten Committee, made a substantial contribution to the preparation and establishment of the public-law industrial regulatory body in the mining industry after World War II. In 1949, he became director of the State Mines with special responsibility for Finance, Economics, and Administration. The title of director was changed to that of chief director in 1959. This was followed in 1962 by his appointment as president-director of DSM. He was the president-director who oversaw the entire mining closure process, during his tenure DSM underwent a profound conversion from mining activities to the chemical industry.

In his doctoral speech, Rottier stressed that he felt his career was determined by economic, social, and ethical principles as they were laid down at the Hogeschool at the time. The broad composition of knowledge from many sciences—a conception mainly of Professor Cobbenhagen—became the basis for later action. Rottier was a member of the Board of Governors the Katholieke Hogeschool as of 1956.

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