News from the Senior Management Team no. 8/2012

Aarhus University launches new debate site

There has been massive media coverage of Aarhus University over the past week – and it looks set to continue for some time yet. Topics such as freedom of speech, management and co-determination, academic standards and administration have been discussed.

Freedom of speech and academic debate are core values at Aarhus University. Therefore, the university has just launched a website that provides employees and students with full insight into the current debate and, in particular, a chance to have a say in it.

Read, for example, Svend Hylleberg’s feature on the task of establishing the new academic councils, and the Senior Management Team’s “open answer to the open letter” about freedom of speech at the university.


Two international top professors join AU

Aarhus University will soon be able to welcome two distinguished international researchers: the American political scientist and Professor of Public History Robert Putnam and the Australian Professor of History Alistair Thomson. Both will be Distinguished Visiting Professors (DVPs).

Robert Putnam is regarded as one of the world’s most influential social scientists, among other things on account of his groundbreaking research into social capital. Alistair Thomson is especially well known for his research into oral history, and has, based on interviews with Australian war veterans from the First  World War, developed an innovative theory of memory formation and selective memory in relation to traumatic events.

Alistair Thomson will arrive at the university in 2012, while Robert Putnam comes on board in 2013-2014.

The two visiting professors will, among other things, help to strengthen and stimulate the local research environments. In addition, Alistair Thomson is a keynote speaker at the annual MatchPoints seminar, which this year is being held on 10-12 May.


Aarhus University collaborates with Horsens

Aarhus University recently signed an agreement with the Municipality of Horsens, Horsens Business Council and VIA Campus Horsens. The aim of the agreement is to forge stronger ties between the educational institutions and the business sector. It involves giving the Municipality of Horsens and local businesses greater access to the knowledge and competencies possessed by both Aarhus University and VIA Campus Horsens, knowledge which in the long term can produce fruitful development opportunities for the entire region.

The agreement lists three specific goals:

  • to establish a stronger partnership between companies in the Municipality of Horsens and the knowledge environments at Aarhus University and VIA Campus Horsens.
  • to facilitate access to knowledge for companies
  • to attract highly qualified labour to companies in the Municipality of Horsens

The agreement ties in well with Aarhus University’s objective of increasing the level of research-based knowledge in companies and of strengthening the possibilities for in-service training and further education.


Choice of 300 different lectures at Festival of Research

A record number of researchers have offered to share their knowledge and expertise with the public at this year’s Festival of Research. A total of 300 different lectures have been brought together in the “Bestil en Forsker” (“Book a Researcher”) catalogue, which was published recently.

The catalogue gives companies, associations and anyone else interested the chance to choose exactly the lecture or lectures they would like to hear.

This is the eighth consecutive year that the general public can book a researcher to hold a lecture free of charge under the Festival of Research scheme, which in 2012 takes place on 19-21 April.



  • 27 February: Kick-off date for heads of department development course
  • 29 February: Meeting of University Board
  • 15 March: Debate meeting on foreign policy with Danish Foreign Minister Villy Søvndal
  • 28-29 March: Management seminar
  • 18-20 April: EU 2012: Excellence conference

Kind regards,

The Senior Management Group

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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