Øystein Thøgersen to be new rector of NHH
NHH’s Board has today appointed Øystein Thøgersen as the school’s new rector.
‘NHH is the leading business school in Norway, with some of the country’s best students and staff. I’m very motivated for the rector’s job and I’m prepared to do what is necessary for NHH to become a very high profile business school that can hold its own against the very best of our European competitors,’ says Øystein Thøgersen.
A leading educational role
Thøgersen will start as rector on 1 August. He is currently a professor in NHH’s Department of Economics, where he has also been head of department. He is chair of the board of SNF AS, is a member of the Board of NHH and was a member of the Executive Board of Norges Bank (the Norwegian central bank) from 2004 to 2009. In 2015, Thøgersen chaired an expert committee that evaluated how Norway’s ‘fiscal rule’ is practised, and he is a member of the Ministry of Finance’s methods committee.
‘NHH must consolidate its leading academic and educational role in Norway. The education we offer must be tuned to society’s needs and the needs of business and industry, and we must create a culture for innovation and be at the cutting edge as regards developing new courses and new educational methods. Digitalisation makes new demands, and NHH will expand its already impressive range of courses in that context. NHH must continue to be the natural choice for the very best students,’ says Thøgersen.
The new rector also has clear ideas about how research will be strengthened.
‘NHH has succeeded in nurturing research groups of the very best international standard, for example in modern behavioural economics. I want to help our outstanding researchers to cultivate a broader range of top groups of this kind,’ he says.
Thøgersen is concerned with NHH’s role as an important institution in society.
‘We have excellent contact with business and industry and with public institutions, and this will be further strengthened. This, in turn, will stimulate both research and teaching.’
Thøgersen is the first rector to be appointed by NHH, after the school’s Board decided last year to change its governance model from an elected to an appointed rector and an external chair of the board.
‘The new governance model will help to ensure dynamic management. It will enable faster decision-making processes and seamless cooperation between researchers and administrative staff. At the same time, I would like to point out that the current rectorate has given us a very good basis on which to build.’
‘What type of leader will you be?'
‘As an individual, I’m very hands-on and impatient. I’m concerned with getting things done and achieving my goals. On the other hand, it's important to listen, and I plan to work closely with staff throughout the NHH organisation. I especially want to be available and accessible to students. I can promise guest lectures for all student cohorts every year and enthusiastic participation at the many events organised by students,’ Thøgersen says.
The recruitment process has been carried out by a broadly based recommendation committee appointed by the Board. The committee has consisted of representatives of the Board, staff and students. The rector and chair of the board Frøystein Gjesdal have chaired the committee.
‘There were strong candidates for the position. I am convinced that Øystein Thøgersen will do an excellent job for NHH. He has the confidence of the staff, he has administrative experience and has produced good results, and he is a well-known economist who will help to promote NHH in a good way,’ says Gjesdal.
Group Executive Vice President Kari Olrud Moen of DNB was appointed as new chair of the board in February. She is looking forward to working with NHH’s new rector.
‘Øystein Thøgersen has big ambitions for NHH and is very clear that change is needed. He also has the experience, insight and drive required to get the job done. I’m looking forward to starting working with Øystein,’ says Olrud Moen.
Thøgersen is also looking forward to good and close cooperation with chair of the board Kari Olrud Moen.
‘Kari and I have already spoken together. We are going to be a very energetic and motivated team,’ he says.
Thøgersen’s new job is a fixed-term appointment for four years.