Rolf Dubs was born on 2 February 1935 in Winterthur. He was the son of Alfred, clerk at the Communal Council in Affoltern am Albis, and Bertha (née Lutz).
After completing the cantonal grammar school in St.Gallen, Dubs worked as a trainee in the customer service department of the Jelmoli department store, which was followed by a one-year internship at Swiss Bank Corporation. In 1957, Dubs began his three-year education at HSG to become a teacher of commercial subjects. He then began writing his dissertation and in 1961 attended the University of Perugia in Italy for one semester.
Between 1954 and 1968 Dubs worked at schools of various levels, first as an assistant teacher and later as a teacher. In addition, he was an editor of the Swiss Journal of Business Education and a staff member at Swiss Radio.
In 1965, Rolf Dubs published his doctroal thesis entitled Das Sozialkreditgeschäft der schweizerischen Kantonalbanken (The social credit business of Swiss cantonal banks). In 1967 he wrote his postdoctoral thesis Das Wirtschaftsgymnasium - Versuch einer theoretischen und praktischen Grundlegung (The commercial high school - an attempt at a theoretical and practical considerations), which earned him a professorship at HSG.
In 1968, Dubs was appointed Associate Professor of Business Education at HSG. Three years later he obtained a position of Full Professor.
In 1971, Rolf Dubs founded the Institute for Business Education, which he headed as Director from 1972 on for the next 25 years. Dubs was a committed educationalist and described himself as a "teacher through and through".
Rolf Dubs was President of the University of St.Gallen (HSG) between 1990 and 1993. One of his achievements was the implementation of 1991/92 study reform.
With his publications, Dubs earned an international reputation as a business educator. He spent several research semesters at American universities, including Harward, Standford, University of Texas and Michigan State University.
Dubs received honorary doctorates from the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (1992), the Budapest University of Economics and Business Administration (1993) and the Technical University of Dresden (2003). He was also awarded the Business Education Prize of the Swiss Society for Business Education.
Rolf Dubs was appointed Emeritus Professor in 2000. Even after his retirement, however, he continues to hold various teaching positions and produces a steady stream of new publications.
Between 1972 and 1988, Rolf Dubs was a member of the parliament of the Canton of St.Gallen for the FDP. He was also a member of the board of directors of various companies, e.g. Siemens Schweiz AG, Bank Julius Bär, St.Galler Tagblatt AG, Hedinger AG, Freie Presse Holding AG.
Dubs is married to Renate, née Jann. Together they have three adult children.
1992: Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWÖ-HSG).