In Memoriam: Cornelis A. ‘Kees’ de Kluyver

Cornelis A. ‘Kees’ de Kluyver ’70, MBA ’71, former dean of the Lundquist College of Business,…

Cornelis A. ‘Kees’ de Kluyver ’70, MBA ’71, former dean of the Lundquist College of Business, passed away on Monday, March 7, after a 6-month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Kees served as the college’s dean from 2010-2015 and was himself a graduate of the University of Oregon, holding both BA and MBA degrees from the college as part of an innovative exchange program in the 1960s and 70s between the University of Oregon and Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.

Kees went on to earn MS and PhD degrees in operations research at Case Western University and then embarked on an illustrious career in academia and management consulting for more than 40 years. 

Prior to returning to Oregon in 2010, he served as dean of George Mason University’s School of Management and dean of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. He also held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, Purdue University, and the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. Earlier in his career he was a partner with Cresap Management Consultants, a Towers Perrin Company, where he advised such multinational clients as Hewlett-Packard, Rockwell Collins, AT&T, Dow Corning, Allied Corp, and more.

He additionally authored several books, including Global Business Strategies (with John A. Pearce II, Business Expert Press, BEP, 2021); Strategic Management: An Executive Perspective (with John A. Pearce II, BEP, 2015); Strategy: A View From The Top (with John A. Pearce II, Prentice Hall, now in its fourth edition and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese); A Primer on Corporate Governance(BEP, 2013, in its second edition); and Fundamentals of Global Strategy: A Business Model Approach (BEP, 2010).

When he returned to lead the Lundquist College of Business, he oversaw one of the most active periods in its history. During his tenure, two wings of the Lillis Business Complex (Anstett Hall and Chiles Hall) were completely renovated and modernized, the Business Research Institute opened, the college launched a first-of-its-kind master of science in sport product management program in Portland and assumed sole oversight of the Portland-based Oregon Executive MBA program (formerly a joint venture between the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Portland State University), and construction began on the 109 NW Naito facility, which would become the college’s home base in Portland. Numerous other programs and initiatives were also launched, including the college’s student-run consulting agency (Oregon Consulting Group) and a partnership with UO Housing to create the first Business Residential Community on campus. 

Kees enjoyed working in the yard, wood carving, and playing his banjo with West Coast traditional jazz bands. He loved redesigning back yard spaces. Throughout the years, his sons were delighted with the play structures, tree houses, bridges, gazebos, and the carved wooden animals that he created.

Since retirement, he became an ardent gardener. He was devoted to his family and loved travelling with them. For the past several years, he enjoyed spending a month in Maui each winter with his wife Louise.

Kees truly had a profound impact at the college and the university. He had a big heart and a big smile—and quite a collection of suspenders. He will be missed, but his legacy will continue to live on.

He is survived by his wife Louise, sons Peter and Jonathan, and his sister Danielle. Per his request, no funeral services will be held. Those wishing to honor his life can make a donation in his name to the Eugene Ballet Company.