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Award for International Commitment

Prof. Dr Dr Dr h.c. Eva-Marie Haberfellner has been awarded the Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany.

f. l.: Prof. Dr Hans-Jörg Tümmers (Foundin Dean of the European Study Programme for Business Management), Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. h.c. Eva-Marie Haberfellner, Prof. Dr. Christoph Binder (Dean of ESB Business School)

By Sven Rottner

A special honour for Professor Dr Eva-Marie Haberfellner and a special day for ESB Business School: The former dean of studies of the European Study Programme in Business Management (ESB) at Reutlingen University received the Cross of Merit on Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany on Thursday, 8 July 2021. State Secretary Petra Olschowski thus honoured Professor Haberfellner for her special commitment in the area of internationalisation and teacher training.

Professor Dr Eva-Marie Haberfellner’s work at the then Fachhochschule Reutlingen began in the winter semester of 1978/1979 when she was appointed Professor of Business French in the Department of Foreign Trade. In those early days she already set a clear course at the still young School of Business. As the first woman to hold a professorship at the Technical College of Reutlingen, it was extremely important to her from the very beginning to teach young people about economic interrelationships – across national borders.

Professor Haberfellner was therefore significantly involved in setting up the new department of the European Study Programme in Business Management (ESB). In her work she paid particular attention to establishing double degree programmes with international partner universities, the forerunners of today’s B.Sc. in International Management double degree programme.

Professor Haberfellner continuously expanded the international network of her department during her time as the first female dean of studies of the European Study Programme in Business Management. In her eight years as dean, she also succeeded in establishing the School on a nationwide level. In the first ranking of Manager Magazin in 1995, the European Study Programme in Business Management took first place.

In addition to her duties at Reutlingen University, Professor Haberfellner was for many years a board member of the German National Academic Foundation, the oldest and one of the most important organisations for the promotion of gifted students in Germany. She also rendered outstanding services to teacher training in the field of economics. Among other things, she campaigned for the integration of company internships into the teacher training programmes.  Looking back, Professor Haberfellner says: “For me it was always perfectly natural that future teachers should know what they were talking about. These practical experiences enabled them to convey relevant interrelationships much more vividly“.

Professor Dr Christoph Binder, Dean of ESB Business School, was one of the guests invited to the award ceremony of the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He also paid tribute to Professor Dr Haberfellner’s achievements: “Hardly any other individual has shaped the School more than Professor Dr Haberfellner. Her commitment to international teaching is exemplary and has had a lasting influence on the self-perception of ESB Business School to this day.”

The Cross of Merit on Ribbon is awarded for outstanding achievements in politics, culture and business. Special commitment in the fields of the humanities and in voluntary work are also regularly honoured with the Order of Merit.