News from the Senior Management Team no. 18/2012

Response to unfair mention of AU employees in JP Aarhus

Rector Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen has responded to an editorial in the daily JP Aarhus, which referred to Aarhus University employees as ‘parasites’. Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen found the tone and attitude in the editorial highly inappropriate and immediately submitted a comment to JP Aarhus, which was published in JP Aarhus on Friday 11 May. The comment is also posted on the university’s website.

Rector in debate with student

On Thursday evening, Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen participated in a debate with the former chair of the Student Council at Aarhus University, Thea Frederiksen.

Titled ‘From research to invoice’ (Fra forskning til faktura), the debate was based on the role played by the universities today.

The two debaters completely agreed that it was crucial for the universities to be allowed as much freedom as possible. But where Rector Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen saw a positive development in the universities no longer having elected managers, Thea Frederiksen was more concerned that the current university act allows for excessive top-down management. However, Thea Frederiksen agreed with the rector, that the universities need management. In respect of her criticism of the excessive top-down management, Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen emphasised that there are great expectations of the academic councils coming to play an important role and that it was too early to take stock of their actual influence as they have just been appointed and have held a few meetings only.

UNIvers features an article on the debate in the issue published yesterday.

The debate was organised by Studenterhus Aarhus, which plans to organise more debate events of this kind. Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen volunteered to participate in future debates at any time if the students want a dialogue.

And the Holst-Knudsens Videnskabspris goes to …

The recipients of the Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsens Videnskabspris science prize were announced last week. The annual prize goes to:

  • Professor Oluf Borbye Pedersen, DrMedSc, AU alum, Scientific Director from The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen.
  • Professor Timo Teräsvirta, DPolSc, from CREATES, Department of Business and Economics at Aarhus University.

Aarhus University will be presenting the Holst-Knudsens Videnskabspris, one of Denmark’s oldest and most prestigious science prizes, at a very traditional ceremony in the Main Hall on 25 May. The eight PhDs from the university who are awarded the Aarhus University Research Foundation’s PhD prizes this year will be honoured on the same day.


Vision for Aarhus University Library to be realised

The visions for Aarhus University Library (AUL) have been given the go-ahead, and the process of creating a new, joint library structure for Aarhus University can be set in motion.

This will be celebrated, among other things, with a major kick-off meeting on 13 June for all library staff at AU and the State and University Library.

One of the first steps in the process will be to establish the formal library structure and appoint library managers within all main academic areas. AUL will be implemented as an organisational unit under AU Knowledge Exchange, and the AU library staff will belong under AUL in future.

New administrative user panel taking shape

To strengthen the service level and the related communication, a special advisory panel is now being appointed. The panel will consist of 16 members, who, as representatives of the administrative user groups, are to ensure focus on high service levels and efficiency. The panel can, for example, function as a consultation party or sparring partner in connection with new operation and development initiatives.

The panel, which initially is to function until mid-2013, is expected to meet approximately once a month.

University Director Jørgen Jørgensen chairs the panel. The other members will be appointed as soon as possible according to the following distribution key:

  • Three representatives of the heads of department appointed jointly by the deans
  • Three representatives of the heads of the department secretariats appointed jointly by the deans
  • Two representatives of the dean secretariats appointed jointly by the deans
  • One representative of the users of administrative services at AU Administration appointed by the university director
  • One representative of the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC)
  • One representative of other employee organisations
  • Two representatives of the division managers and deputy directors appointed by the university director
  • Two representatives of the students appointed by the Student Council at Aarhus University

Intensified collaboration with Peking University

Aarhus University and Peking University are continuously developing the collaboration on which the two universities entered into agreement in October 2011, when a delegation from Aarhus University with, among others, Dean Mette Thunø and Rector Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen visited Peking University.

President Zhou from Peking University has just revisited Aarhus University, among other things to experience AU’s academic environments within Scandinavian studies, nanochemistry, genetic psychiatry and structural biology.

The collaboration agreement between AU and Peking University is a broad agreement involving both student exchange, PhD exchange and research collaboration. At the moment, AU students are studying at Beijing Campus and Shenzhen Campus, PhD exchange is taking place with Science and Technology and Health as well as specific summer school activities.

Later this year, a delegation from Aarhus University will reciprocate the visit with a view to expanding the collaboration.

Arts professor gets business research award

On Wednesday 9 May, Professor Kim Halskov, Center Director of the Center for Advanced Visualization and Interaction at Arts, received this year’s business research award from FUHU. The award is an honorary award granted to a researcher within social sciences and the humanities who has created excellent research and dissemination results for the benefit of Danish companies’ competitiveness. The award is DKK 250,000.

Annual ‘Boat’ Race offered sunshine and victory for the Department of Economics and Business

Close to 25,000 students had gathered in the University Park for the Annual ‘Boat’ Race, which took place in glorious sunshine on Thursday 3 May.

Following a breathtaking final race between the Department of Economics and Business, the Engineering College of Aarhus and the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, the Department of Economics and Business rowed to victory and took the prestigious trophy ‘The Golden Bedpan’ for the second year running.

Danish Minister for European Affairs discussed EU expansion with AU researchers

Accession of new member states to the EU was the theme of the debate which took place on Monday 7 May between the Danish Minister for European Affairs Nicolai Wammen and Aarhus University’s two EU experts, Associate Professor Derek Beach and Professor Philipp Schröder.

Before the some 150 attendees, the three debaters agreed that active efforts to enlarge the EU by the accession of new member states from Eastern Europe would benefit Europe from both an economic and a security policy perspective.

The audience, which included an upper secondary school class from Mexico, foreign and Danish students at Aarhus University, members of the Danish University Extension and alumni, contributed to the debate with questions and comments for the minister.


  • 25 May: Meeting of ‘Universitets-samvirket’
  • 25 May: Annual award ceremony for the Holst-Knudsens Videnskabspris science prize
  • 1-3 June: The Great Debate
  • 13 June: Meeting of the University Board
  • 14 June: Summer speech

Kind regards,


The Senior Management Team

The Senior Management Team 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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