To Norman Kurtis, an Inspiration to the IE community


Norman Kurtis was a hard-working and well-known man who contributed to making IE University what it is today. Working at IE for ten years, Mr. Kurtis made impacts in the community that will be remembered forever. The IE community continues to mourn his passing, but kindly remembers his contributions to the University, here is a toast to Norman Kurtis!

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Image Courtesy of Norman Kurtis’ LinkedIn.

As a professor, the Vice Dean of the School of Human Sciences and Technology and the Dean of Programs of the Business School, Mr. Kurtis proved time and again his dedication to building the best environment possible to promote complete and innovative education, create opportunities for students all around the world, and make everyone feel welcome and supported.

When asked about Mr. Kurtis, Lee Newman, our dean of IE Business School, was able to describe him in a very interesting word: paradoxical. Mr. Newman said: “he was a unique combination of things that you do not always find in the same person.” How lucky is this university that it got to work with someone like that? At first glance, Mr. Kurtis could come off as intimidating because of how seriously he took his work, but he was the one everyone would look to when they had problems. He was the one to bring calm to the storm, to provide advice and to make a decision when others did not know what to do. Wherever he was needed, Mr. Kurtis was there, he was loved and trusting, his colleagues never thought twice about relying on him when they needed help. He connected with so many people, building friendships and a network with no other intention than that of establishing bonds.

Norman Kurtis was a problem-solver and an active professional. His mind was like a factory of ideas, the gears in his head always turning in order to come up with projects and viewpoints of all kinds. He had “a really amazing ability to cut through complexity and mess and noise and chaos to reduce that down to order and make a decision”, is how Mr. Newman described him professionally. When everyone would panic about what to do or how to solve a problem, Mr. Kurtis was the one to look at things calmly and bring about the best solution. He was open-minded and looked at things from multiple perspectives, and he would not stop until he was satisfied with his decision.

His schedule was always filled to the brim, with meetings, classes and projects, but that is exactly how he wanted it. He loved his job, he loved to teach, he was a great manager and an innovative leader. While he was always jumping from one meeting to the next, he always figured out how to have time for everything, giving everyone his undivided attention.

But, he wasn’t the type of man to sit in his office all day working. Mr. Kurtis had a special spot at university where he would drink coffee and take all of his meetings: the fire escape. His colleagues would refer to the fire escape as Mr. Kurtis’s office, as he would regularly be found working there. Why stay confined to four walls when you can have meetings while breathing some fresh air?

As a professor, bachelor students would be intimidated by him, in the best possible sense of the word. He was a very strict teacher, but you could tell that he had your best interests in mind. In Mr. Newman’s words: “he had a way of letting you know he was on your side while intimidating you.” He took his job seriously, and he loved teaching so much that he did not stop even after becoming Dean of Programs and Vice Dean for two different schools at IE University. He wanted to shape students to become the best version of themselves, to help them learn and grow in the most complete way possible, leading them to reach their full potential. In order to achieve this, he would be rigorous in his expectations of them, but also their supporter. He always wanted to prepare his students for the real world, and would help them and mentor them in the best way possible.

Image Courtesy of Norman Kurtis’ LinkedIn.

Norman Kurtis was easily one of the most influential and inspiring people that have worked at IE University. Not only has he had an incredibly positive impact on the school, he has had an even bigger impact on the people that have been lucky enough to know him. Norman Kurtis listened to people, connected with them, and helped them with whatever they needed. He ran from one place to another, solving problems, having meetings and teaching classes, and all of this he would do with a coffee in hand. Everytime someone had a question, Mr. Kurtis was the one they would look for. He built an environment where people could learn, grow and become future leaders. He started the School of Science and Technology, always having new ideas and putting them into action.

What I can say with certainty is that this university was privileged to have an employee such as Norman Kurtis, a great manager and professor, that his colleagues felt proud and honored to work with him, and that he will never be forgotten among the IE community. I don’t think anyone that met him could forget him, even if they tried; that is the sort of impact he had on people. 

Claudia Monzón
Claudia Monzón
Lifestyle writer in Segovia and second-year PPLELLB student.

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