News from the Senior Management Group no. 33/2011

New project will improve communication and cooperation

The development project "Greater coherence" was launched at a meeting of senior administrators on 26 September.

The aim of the project is to help develop guidelines and resources for the development of the administration. A special focus is the development of inter-faculty collaboration in order to ensure that the university's teaching and research programmes receive the best possible support.

Participants in the seminar discussed how best to involve staff in the project; one concrete initiative will be seminars in each administrative division to give staff an opportunity to discuss the issues which are most relevant for their specific areas of responsibility.

The staff seminars are to be held before the next meeting of senior administrators on 7 November

In addition, a development process to strengthen department heads' leadership skills is being planned, which will provide participants with concrete personnel management tools and techniques. The process will not be initiated before the first half of 2012, as the departments are working on goals and action plans this autumn (as described in newsletter no. 31).

New structure for liaison committees

At a meeting last week, the Main Liaison Committee (HSU) approved the final details of a plan for the development of a new liaison committee structure at AU.

While the general outlines of the plan were approved by the HSU in June,  four issues remained to be resolved. Three of these issues have since been resolved by the chief union representatives and the senior management group:

- AU HR will be responsible for providing administrative support for HSU , while the local liaison committees will be free to decide whether administrative support is to be provided by AU HR or a local staff member.

- An overview of the organisational structure which specifies the number of staff members and the number of managers will be forwarded to HSU.

- The maximum number of members in LSU is fifteen.

HSU has also approved the establishment of joint liaison committees at the main academic areas and AU Administration. However, the framework for budget and personnel responsibility for deans and department heads (main academic area level) and for the university director and the deputy directors (AU Administration)  has not yet been determined. The issue will be discussed and resolved as quickly as possible by a committee consisting of the two chief union representatives, the rector, the university director, a dean and a deputy director.


Chairman of  the chairmen

The chairman of the AU Board, Michael Christiansen, has just been appointed chairman of the Danish University Board Chairmen's College. He replaces the Johannes Due, CEO of Sygeforsikringen "danmark", who is stepping down after eight years of service as chairman of the board at the University of Southern Denmark.


Interim AU occupational health and safety committee established

A temporary AU occupational health and safety committee has been appointed. In cooperation with AU HR, the committee will develop a proposal for a new AU occupational health and safety organisation. A staff representative and a management representative from each main academic area sit on the committee.

The members of the interim committee are:

The process of developing a model for the new occupational health and safety organisation will take place in close cooperation with the deans and the existing local occupational health and safety organisations at the main academic areas. Significant decisions regarding structure - including the number of departmental occupational health and safety committees and groups - will be determined by the individual main academic areas, in order to reflect specific local conditions and needs.


Management representative

Staff representative


Lone Plougmann Iversen

Per Dahl

Science & Technology

Ib Johannsen

Marlene Venø Skjærbæk


Marianne Hokland

Erling Østergaard

Business & Social Sciences

Frank Pedersen

Niels Jørgen Relsted

AU Administration

Bent Lorenzen

Lone Degn Eriksen



Jørgen B. Jespersen



Anders Kragh Moestrup


The interim occupational health and safety committee will be replaced by a standing AU occupational health and safety committee (HAU) before the end of the year. HAU will replace the coordinating committee for occupational health and safety (KOA). The structure of the new health and safety organisation must be determined before members can be appointed to the standing committee, after which elections for new occupational health and safety representatives can be held.

AU a key player in Aarhus' digital development

AU will play a central role in the new Smart Aarhus initiative which will strengthen the framework for  integrating digitalisation into Aarhus' development as a regional centre in coming decades.

Not least on account of IT City Katrinebjerg,  university has deep expertise in many facets of digital urban development, from environment, energy and transportation to education, health, media, culture and public administration. The initiative will provide the university's researchers with interesting opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge exchange.

The Municipality of Aarhus is behind the initiative, and Aarhus city director Niels Højberg is head of the steering group. Pro-Rector Frandsen is a member of the steering group which will lead the process of formulating a blueprint for the digital development of the city. Aarhus must have a well-planned digital infrastructure which includes services such as high-speed networks, easily accessible or free wireless (WiFi), intelligent buildings, automated data feeds and the capacity to serve the city's inhabitants via mobile and social media.

Smart Aarhus is still in the early stages. Please contact Associate Professor Martin Brynskov if you are interested in more details about the project.

More help  for conference and event organisers

The level of conference activity at AU has increased in recent years, and in future, academic and administrative conference organisers will have even easier access to assistance and support.

All organisers have access to advice on budgets and fundraising, information on available conference facilities at AU and in Aarhus, hotels and transport infrastructure, contact to possible partners, etc. AU Communication also has signs and other materials available on loan, as well as free conference materials such as folders, name tags and notepads.

Conference organisers from across AU will be invited to participate in an AU network this winter, and existing aids such as the online conference checklist will be developed further in response to input from the network.

The conferences held at AU are often large events with more than fifty - and sometimes up to a thousand - participants. Many AU conferences take place over several days, and a large proportion include foreign participants.



  • 29 September: Main Liaison Committee Meeting
  • 5-6 October: Science for the Environment
  • 14 November: Meeting of University Board
  • 30 November/1 December:University management seminar at Sandbjerg Manor

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