News from the Senior Management Group no. 32/2011

Merger between Engineering College of Aarhus and Aarhus University on the right track

The Engineering College of Aarhus and Aarhus University have produced a document which explores the merger's academic, organisational and financial consequences. On the background of this document, the AU Board has just approved the merger, and is now waiting for the document to be considered by the board of the Engineering College of Aarhus. The document will then be forwarded to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation and the Ministry of Education, where negotiation of the final conditions for the merger will take place.


Strategy and development contract

As a consequence of the national elections, it has not been possible for the University and Property Agency (UBST) to prepare a statement on binding goals for the university's next development contract. The AU Board has therefore decided to continue working within the framework of the existing strategy, Quality and Diversity 2008-2012, until UBST produces a new development contract proposal. The intention is to report on the fulfilment of the goals set out in the strategy and the development contract at the same time. The Board has just approved the university's benchmarking report on the goals set out in the strategy for the period summer 2010 - summer 2011.


Healthy finances

The results of the year's first two quarters indicate that the university's turnover for 2011 will be DKK 5,876 million, DKK 56 million less than budgeted. This means that the university now anticipates a budget surplus of DKK 15 million for 2011.

The primary cause of the surplus is lower costs than anticipated due to the postponement of a number of planned activities. There is still considerable uncertainly regarding revenues for the the financial year  related to study activity for summer 2011, completion bonuses for 2011 and admission figures as of 1 October 2011.


A flood of ideas

Earlier this year, AU asked its researchers whether they had any original ideas for research projects. They most certainly do: the new AU Ideas research programme has received 260 applications. The programme was created by the senior management team in collaboration with AUFF in order to support the development of visionary project ideas through a Research Seed Programme.

The senior management group has appointed a committee of lecturers headed by Dr Morten Kyndrup who are now in the process of evaluating the 260 applications. All applicants will be informed of the result of their application personally. The senior management group expects the first projects to be launched around the beginning of next year.

The programme provides two different forms of support to the university's researchers: AUFF Project Development, which is aimed at supporting original project ideas in the early phases, and AUFF Pilot Centres, which provides support for the next stage of the maturation of project ideas to a research group which may include both junior and senior researchers as well as researchers from other institutions in Denmark and abroad.

Up to DKK 500,000 per applicant is available from AUFF Project Development; while grants of up to DKK 7.5 million are available to AUFF Pilot Centre applicants.


Master class with EU commissioner

EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, former Danish Minister for Climate and the Environment, is scheduled to visit Aarhus University on Friday 30 September. During her visit, she will hold a master class on the EU's role in international negotiations on climate and environmental issues. The master class is for AU research staff and will take place in the Frandsen Room in the Rector's Office from 15.45 to 16.45. Contact International Centre if you are interested in participating.

Connie Hedegaard is climate action commissioner for the period 2010-2014.


Calendar

  • 29 September: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 5-5 October: Science for the Environment
  • 14 November: AU Board meeting

The Senior Management Group publishes a newsletter every week. This newsletter includes a brief description of current activities and discussions. You can sign up for the Danish version of the newsletter at info.au.dk/medarbbreve, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

If you would like to subscribe to the English version of News from the Senior Management Group, please go to info.au.dk/medarbbreve/index.asp. The English version of News from the Senior Management Group is available at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/. You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Group at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/2011.