Johan Cruyff Institute Amsterdam welcomes three new professors

Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam will welcome three new professors to its faculty for the Master in Sport Management for the next academic year

For the upcoming academic year, the faculty pool of the Master in Sport Management will be strengthened with three new faces. On September 3rd, when the new academic year of Johan Cruyff Institute in Amsterdam officially starts, entrepreneurs and business partners Ad van den Heuvel and Mark Haans, and sociologist Gerrit Dielissen, will officially take over from professors Irsan Widarto and Kees Verschoor, who are saying goodbye after years of teaching.

Ad and Mark will be jointly responsible for the module Managing, Innovation & Leadership in Sport Organizations and the Master Final Plan Module. As an entrepreneur, Mark founded OOR bv in 2002, after previously gaining work experience at, among others, Philips, Interpolis, DELA and Fontys University. Ad has been a partner and management consultant at OOR bv since 2003 and previously worked for a number of companies in various sectors, such as Interpolis, Rabobank and Achmea.

Ad van den Heuvel - Professor Johan Cruyff Institute“My career would never have been like this if I had not met the people who helped me to get better and better,” Ad van den Heuvel says gratefully. “Sometimes by figuratively pushing me out of the nest and leaving me to learn how to fly, other times by setting a good example. I see it as a great privilege to be able to contribute to the personal and professional development of young people who will become the next generation of sport leaders. I would be very happy if they started working after their Master in a self-assured way to improve sport organizations. What I hope to get back from the students is a connection with their creativity, their way of living and thinking, and their energy. That will help me to stay young in spirit and to keep a broad view of the world and of my profession. It would be great if I could learn as much from them as they will from me.”

“I would be very happy if they started working after their Master in a self-assured way to improve sport organizations” – Ad van den Heuvel

Mark Haans - Professor Johan Cruyff InstituteAccording to Mark Haans: “Making a career is a process of trial and error, and that is how it should be. Above all, I hope that my input will ensure that the students see opportunities and chances more quickly and do not put themselves down or lose their energy if things go wrong. I am looking forward to a year full of interesting dialogues about the best job there is: letting people in organizations excel. My contribution to that dialogue is a backpack filled with experiences, examples and practice theory, which I have built up as a psychologist and consultant. It is great that I can now spend part of my time making all those experiences available. And where better than at Johan Cruyff Institute? I hope to have an eager group of students who will challenge me a lot and I am sure that the students will teach me to put myself into new contexts, different cultures and a different generation, and that together we will explore the beautiful world of sport organizations and the specific challenges that are associated with that.”

“I hope to have an eager group of students who will challenge me a lot” – Mark Haans

The two business partners agree on how they want to give substance to the modules and how they hope to engage the students. “Our lessons will be characterized by a lot of teamwork, active student participation, limited frontal teaching, and regularly returning to the core themes. No long theoretical treatises and no book reviews, but a link between the theme of the lesson and the perception of the individual student,” say the consultants.
Gerrit Dielissen will take over the Governance module from September. He is originally a sociologist and teaches interdisciplinary social sciences at Utrecht University. In addition, the professor has held management positions on the boards of various sports associations.

“My goal is to bring out an awareness that is potentially already present in the students” – Gerrit Dielissen

Gerrit Dielissen - Professor Johan Cruyff Institute“Because of my background as a sports director and academic professor, I have had the privilege of giving a guest lecture entitled ‘Managing Cultural Diversity’ to the students of the Master in Sport Management for the past two years,” Gerrit Dielissen says. “My goal during my lessons is to bring out an awareness that is potentially already present in the students, which will make them conscious and able to use this quality to make better analyses and high-quality decisions whenever they are experiencing issues in work and life. I want to let students share and learn from my knowledge and experience, giving them the opportunity to get more out of themselves and from the unique learning environment. Obviously, I also expect to learn from them, and to broaden my own educational horizon from this cross-fertilization. I hope to be able to encourage students to have doubts, because there is nothing better than learning to ask questions and daring to do things you think you know how to do. Doubt is an opportunity to grow and to gain new insights.”


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