News from the Senior Management Group no. 4/2011

International meeting place opens on Aarhus campus

The new facility which now houses the university's internationalisation activities as well as its services for its more than 1800 PhD students has been named after Dr Dale T. Mortensen (Dept. of Economics), Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics. The Dale T. Mortensen Building  is home to International Centre, the PhD House, new introductory housing for foreign PhD students and Dale's Café.

At the inaguration ceremony on 1 February, Dr Mortensen emphasised the importance of international connections in research, and that a meeting place such as the Dale T. Mortensen Building - and not least Dale's Café - will encourage the creation of valuable academic and social contacts within and across all fields of inquiry. Aarhus University was honoured by the participation of two AU Nobel laureates in the inauguration ceremony, as Dr Jens Chr. Skou, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1997, was present in addition to Dr Mortensen.

HRH Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, unveiled a new mosaic by the artist Erik A. Frandsen, a gift of 'Købmand Ferdinand Sallings Mindefond' (a foundation to honour the memory of a local businessman).


New chairman of Aarhus University Board elected

On 1 February, the Aarhus University Board elected a new chairman to replace former chairman Jens Bigum, who has stepped down after serving the maximum of two terms permitted under the university charter. The new chairman is Michael Christiansen, who has been a member of the Board for two years. Michael Christiansen has a particular interest in the university sector, not least by virtue of his many years' experience as part-time lecturer and member of governing bodies at the University of Copenhagen, where he is still active as an external examiner. Michael is also the chairman of the board of Danmarks Radio.

On 1 February, a farewell reception was held for Jens Bigum. Rector Holm-Nielsen thanked the retiring chairman for his hard work in connection with the merger and development process at AU, during which he has acted as a persistent and credible negotiator in relation to politicians, boards, and both executive and advisory bodies.



Opening of DEU and 'Short-cuts to new knowledge'

The official launch of two new AU initiatives, The Entrepreneurial University (DEU) and Genvej til Ny Viden ('Short-cuts to new knowledge'), took place on 2 February. The Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship Office is responsible for Genvej til Ny Viden.

Aarhus University won the DEU title in competition with other Danish universities in November of last year thanks to a broadly based concept involving a wide range of research and educational initiatives. These initiatives have now been officially launched.

The official inauguration of Genvej til Ny Viden took place on the same day. This project is designed to support the development and realisation of concrete commercially oriented knowledge-sharing partnerships between SMBs in the Central Denmark Region and AU's researchers.


Proposal for academic organisation in open consultation at the Faculty of Arts

The Task Force at Aarhus Faculty of Arts has completed its proposal for the academic structure of the faculty. The Task Force has proposed a division of the faculty into four new departments, each with its own board of studies, and a general academy council.

The Task Force consists of staff members from all three former main academic areas which have been merged to create the Faculty of Arts (TEO, HUM and DPU). It was established by Dean Mette Thunø in order to develop a vision and a new structure for the faculty. The open consultation period for the proposal will last until 11 February.

Café seminars will be held in both Aarhus and Emdrup on 7 and 8 February to give staff and students an opportunity to discuss the Task Force proposal.



Report on AU library services in consultation

In connection with the academic development process, the university's senior management group has asked Carsten Riis, the chairman of the Library Committee, to analyse the university's library services and submit a recommendation regarding the future organisation of this area. The report recommends that the libraries of Aarhus University should be organised in a single library system, Aarhus University Libraries, in order to create a strong, coherent library which will meet  future needs in the area of research as well as the interdisciplinary nature of the university's future study programmes.

The senior management group has sent the report to stakeholders for consultation and the deadline for their responses is 14 February at noon.  The report is part of the academic development process and is being taken into consideration in the work of developing the new university structure which will be announced on 9 March 2011.


AU students produce bright business ideas

Aarhus University students made a strong showing at the Venture Cup idea competition for young entrepreneurs again this year. AU students won the cash prize of DKK 25,000 for most promising business idea in three out of five category finals at this year's Venture Cup.

The prize in the Cleantech category went to the company Innogie, a collaboration between students from AU and Aalborg University. The female AU students behind Bucky'O'Zun won the category Life Science & Medtech. CallCab was named most promising idea in the Services category.




  • 23 February: Visit by administrative officers from Lund University, Sweden
  • 25 February: Meeting with permanent under-secretaries of the Ministry of Science, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Food
  • 2 March: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 2 March: Debate meeting on financing higher education, the Confederation of Danish Industry and Aarhus University
  • 3-5 March: U-Days
  • 7 March: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 7-8 March: University Board seminar
  • 9 March: Staff meeting: orientation on new organisational structure
  • 10-11 March: The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations' Dialogue Forum.

Kind regards

The University Management Group

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, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

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