News from the Senior Management Group no. 14/2011

Preference clarification round to be completed before the summer holiday

The senior management group has decided to expedite the preference clarification process for administrative staff members who will experience major changes in their job responsibilities as a result of the organisational changes taking place. The preference clarification process is intended to help match employee competences and preferences with new positions in the new organisation.

According to the original plan, the process was scheduled to be completed in September 2011, but many staff members have expressed a desire for a quicker process. Presumably, the new schedule will mean that everyone's situation will be clarified before the summer holidays.

The new schedule for the preference clarification round is as follows:

  • Until 17 May: Competence clarification
  • 12 May: Catalogue of available positions available
  • 17-18 May: Information meetings in Aarhus and Emdrup
  • 18-26 May: Preference clarification round
  • 14-17 June: Offer of new position


All of the employees involved in the process have received a letter with additional information on dates and deadlines. Employees who have not received a letter but who consider themselves eligible to participate in the process should contact their daily supervisor before 5 May in order to clarify their status.

  • Read an updated list of questions and answers related to the preference clarification process (in Danish)

AU Board approves 2010 annual report

In many ways, 2010 was an excellent year for Aarhus University. For the first time ever, the university received 20,000 applications for admission. Admissions of new students also set a record; in 2010, the university admitted approximately 6,200 new Bachelor's students, as well as 2,000 new Master's degree students from outside AU. AU's research results in 2010 were also excellent, and numerous researchers received prestigious awards and grants.

At the same time, a special effort was made to increase admissions of PhD students, which resulted in the admission of 574 new PhD students in 2010. Twenty-seven of the development contract's 40 goals were achieved, while there was progress towards achieving an additional nine. Four goals were not achieved.

According to the annual report, AU's finances are fundamentally sound, and previous years' growth in activities and turnover continued in 2010. The university's turnover in 2010 was DKK 5,564.4 million, with a surplus of DKK 98.2 million. The university has increased its revenues, both because more students have completed exams than estimated in the budget (government subsidies for teaching activity are based on the number of years of full-time study including passed exams, studenterårsværk), and because of additional government funding, including UNI-lab funding.

In addition, costs in the area of building maintenance and operations were over DKK 100 million lower than budgeted for. In this connection, it is important to note that there is continued focus on improving financial management in order to ensure greater transparency and predictability, as well as a more uniform practice across main academic areas.

The organisation and functions of the departmental secretariats

The secretariats of the new departments and department-like centres will still provide daily administrative support to staff members and students under the new organisational structure. Daily administrative support means service in support of research, teaching, and knowledge exchange activities, as well as support for department heads. The support available at the departmental level may also include general secretarial support for departmental staff, language support, layout, etc. However, the departmental secretariats will not perform administrative tasks, as these will be organised under the deputy director's areas of responsibility.

The deans are responsible for determining staffing needs and budgetary frameworks for the departmental secretariats, which will be managed by department secretariat heads.

Special preference clarification process for library staff

The process of organising the Aarhus University Library has begun, and a working group tasked with developing a plan will be established as quickly as possible. The working group will include staff and student representatives.

As a consequence of the delay of the organisational process for the library services area, library staff have not been able to participate in the current preference clarification round. This autumn, a special process will take place for library staff to ensure that they have the same opportunities and conditions as all other AU staff members.

A special information meeting for all AU library staff will be held where additional issues will be clarified. The meeting will take place from 1 pm to 4 pm on 26 May in Aarhus. Details will be announced at a later date.

Crucial EU support for universities

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso expressed his great respect for AU's position as one of the world's leading universities and its strong profile as a postgraduate university when he spoke at AU at the EUA conference closing ceremony before Easter.

President Barroso's presence testified to the EU's understanding of the crucial role played by European universities in ensuring and creating growth. This requires a massive investment in talent development, the main theme of the EUA conference. The debates and discussions among the 450 university officials from all over Europe who participated in the conference will result in an Aarhus Declaration which will present the EUA's visions and strategies for talent development. The Aarhus Declaration will be issued in the near future.

Prominent diplomatic official to speak at MatchPoints

Robert Cooper, former advisor to Tony Blair and current Counsellor in the European External Action Service, has just agreed to speak at the MatchPoints Seminar 2011, which will be held at AU on 12-14 May.

Robert Cooper is a security and foreign policy advisor to Catherine Margaret Ashton, Baroness Ashton of Upholland, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union.

Other prominent peakers who will appear at MatchPoints 2011 include Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN's flagship foreign affairs show and Editor-at-Large of TIME Magazine, and the political analyst Francis Fukuyama, who has been a visiting professor at AU since 2009. Experts in democracy from universities all over the world will also participate in this year's MatchPoints, the theme of which is democracy, democratisation and democratic renewal in Denmark, the EU, Northern Africa and the developing countries.

The seminar is open to all and will take place in English with the exception of a debate in Danish on democracy on Thursday evening, Har Folkestyret en fremtid?

New UBST evaluation report on AU published

The University and Property Agency (UBST) has just published its 2010/2011 report on AU on its homepage. UBST visits the Danish universities each year to evaluate their performance on behalf of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The evaluation is followed by a report describing the state of the university's finances, teaching activities, research, outreach activities, physical infrastructure and initiatives in six to seven selected areas. This year's report from UBST is generally positive; the university is described as a well-functioning university in the midst of a major reorganisation.

AU selected to host international conference on learning

The Emdrup campus has been chosen to host the ASEM Forum on Lifelong Learning when Denmark assumes the EU presidency in 2012. The forum will bring about 200 representatives from ministries of education and research institutions from 45 countries to AU.

Participants in the forum will discuss topics such as how new communications technologies can serve to strengthen national and global strategies for lifelong learning.

The forum will be organised by the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning secretariat, which is based at the Department of Education (DPU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the Ministry of Education and UNESCO.

Economists victorious in 2011 Regatta

The traditional Regatta was held in the University Park on Friday. The Economics team was victorious. Rector Holm-Nielsen was present to welcome spectators and participants, and radio hosts Huxi Bach and Karen Thisted were masters of ceremonies.

The majority of the twelve teams that participated in the race were from different degree programmes at AU, but a few teams from other educational institutions in Aarhus also participated in the fight to win The Golden Bed Pan.


  • 5 May: The 'Seize the World' caravan visits AU
  • 12-14 May: MatchPoints 2011
  • 27 May: Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsen Award 2011 ceremony


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