Will CEIBS’ former dean rescue the EBS?
Rolf D. Cremer, long-time Dean of the China Europe International Business School
CEIBS) in Shanghai and Beijing is set to become a member of the management board of
the new EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht i.Gr in Wiesbaden starting in Sep-
tember 2011, and will thereby serve as co-director of the school together with EBS
President Christopher Jahns. Insiders assume that Cremer is already being brought
on as the successor to Jahns, who is the subject of two inquiries launched by the
Crown Prosecution based on suspicion of a breach of trust.
The EBS has been in the headlines for weeks because EBS President Jahns is suspec-
ted of having mixed in private business interests over the years in his role as uni-
versity President. An example of this is said to be awarding contracts to one of
the 17 consulting companies in which Jahns himself is involved. Since then, the
Crown Prosecution in Wiesbaden has opened the main proceedings. The investigations
are to be delegated to the State Office of Criminal Investigation.
As Dean and Vice President of CEIBS, Professor Rolf Cremer contributed significant-
ly to the school’s ascent into the top league. In December, Cremer was suddenly re-
placed, a move which obviously wasn’t really voluntary on his part. Cremer has a
flawless reputation and knows the international business. Starting in September, he
will become Rector and the first vice president of the EBS. Insiders predict that
Cremer is thereby being brought on as the successor for Jahns, who, on account of
the cases against him, can no longer be kept.
After numerous publications like Spiegel, Financial Times Deutschland and the Bild
newspaper reported on these alleged transgressions, Jahns is said to have put his
employees at the EBS under great pressure to find the “mole” who leaked the informa-
tion to the media. He himself denies all the charges and suspects it is a scheme
from among his own ranks.
Cremer is being trusted to bring the EBS out of this slump, but there is also the
danger that his reputation will suffer through his role at the EBS. The press relea-
se announcing his commencement at the EBS was already teeming with superlatives.
“Under the leadership of Professor Jahns, the EBS achieved astonishing development
that offers a unique opportunity and platform in Germany for a German business
school to finally close ranks on the top international league. It simply isn’t ac-
ceptable that there is no German school among the top 100 business schools in the
world (Financial Times ranking). We are going to change this,” Cremer is quoted as
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But this goal is still far off. Up to now, the EBS has already failed twice in its
attempt to gain the EQUIS accreditation. Now the third attempt is headed for fai-
lure, at least for the time being. The set date for a peer review – an important
part of the accreditation process – has been pushed back by at least six months.