News from the Senior Management Team no. 18/2013

New University Act may entail more bureaucracy

In a consultation response to the Ministry of Education, Aarhus University supports the intentions behind the SU reform and the amendments to the Danish University Act, but warns about the possible drawbacks of some of the new initiatives.

Among other things, the university is concerned about new regulations for compulsory registration for exams, which may involve a risk of more applications for exemptions and require more resources in connection with applications for exemptions and holding re-exams. The university has also emphasised that the bill should take account of students who, on account of psychological or physical disorders, have difficulty in completing degree programmes within the prescribed study period.

At the same time, the university also criticises a change of rules which may mean that the chairs of the boards of studies face a major task in finding new credit-bearing courses if students studying abroad are unable to follow the pre-approved courses they were intending to take.

Aarhus University has also indicated that greater flexibility in the education system and a bigger intake of professional Bachelor's degree students will be a positive development, but that it will require ample to prepare the implementation if the existing requirements regarding supplementary courses are repealed at the same time.


Eight applicants for position of dean

Eight applications were submitted for the position of Dean of Science and Technology by the deadline on 20 May.

In accordance with Aarhus University's statutes, an advisory group and an appointment committee have been set up in connection with appointing a new dean.

The advisory group is made up of representatives of the academic staff, the technical and administrative staff and the students at Science and Technology. The task of the group is to review the applications and to recommend which applicants should be called in for interviews with the appointment committee.

The appointment process is expected to be completed before the summer holidays.


New management team at Department of Bioscience

Professor Hans Brix and senior researcher Peter Henriksen have both been appointed temporary heads of the Department of Bioscience next year. They form a management team in which Hans Brix holds financial and HR responsibility for the department in Aarhus while Peter Henriksen is responsible for the workplaces in Roskilde, Kalø and Silkeborg.

After devoting considerable efforts to setting up the department, previous head of department Bo Riemann has decided to step down from the job and return to his professorship in Roskilde. The decision on the new management model was announced by Dean Brian Bech Nielsen at a meeting for all section managers and afterwards to all staff at the department.

Peter Henriksen and Hans Brix are currently in the process of planning dialogue meetings at the four workplaces at which they will both participate. The meetings are open to all staff at the department and will be held as soon as possible.


Aarhus University in new food sector partnership

With the participation of both public and private-sector players, Aarhus University is becoming a partner in a new cluster partnership intended to create innovation and jobs in the food sector.

The university's research within agriculture, technology, health and food etc. will stimulate innovation at both large and small companies, and among other things strengthen the production of healthy and sustainable foods.

In addition to Aarhus University, the cluster includes Arla Foods, Central Denmark Region, City of Aarhus as well as the Danish Agriculture & Food Council. The secretariat will be based at Agro Food Park in Skejby.

The European Commission has previously promoted broad cluster collaborations as powerful catalysts for innovation and economic development, while the Danish cluster academy REG X has just published a thorough analysis of the food sector in Central Denmark Region.


International profiles to advise AIAS

Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) is being supported by a group of important researchers in its efforts to build up a new, interdisciplinary environment at Aarhus University.

Eight international research profiles have agreed to participate in AIAS’s Advisory Board where they will advise the management and the board on the institute's activities.

The Advisory Board embraces a broad academic spectrum and includes Nobel Laureate Dale T. Mortensen and Harvard professor Lene Vestergaard Hau. It is expected that the group will convene for its first meeting in spring 2014.


Aarhus University's top prize to be awarded on Tuesday

This week sees Aarhus University's most prestigious research award, the Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsen Award for Scientific Research, being awarded to two Danish researchers.

At the same time, the Aarhus University Research Foundation is presenting PhD prizes to five research talents.

The presentations will take place on Tuesday 28 May in the Main Hall at Nordre Ringgade in Aarhus at 11-13.30. Danish will be the spoken language.

All members of staff are welcome to register for the event.


Minister participates at export conference

Researchers from Aarhus University will discuss their latest results with the Danish Minister for Trade and Investment, Pia Olsen Dyhr, and several Danish export companies at a conference on 28 May.

The conference, which is organised by the Danish Export Association and the Tuborg Centre for Research on Globalisation and Firms at the Department of Economics and Business, will seek to identify the key to export success.

The research centre recently received a grant of DKK 15 million from the Tuborg Foundation.


10th anniversary of Shanghai partnership

In organising the conference 'Strong relations matter', Midtnet and Central Denmark Region are celebrating the tenth anniversary of the sister city relationship with Shanghai.

The conference will offer an opportunity to look back on a string of successful partnerships within, for example, education, research and health, while also looking ahead towards new common focus areas.

Pro-Rector Søren E. Frandsen is opening the conference, at which the Minister for Trade and Investment, Pia Olsen Dyhr, as well as representatives of the Danish and Chinese business communities are participating.

'Strong relations matter' takes place on 28 May at 9.00 - 15.30 in the Main Hall at Fuglesangs Allé.


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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 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 Team, please go to info.au.dk/medarbbreve/index.asp. The English version of News from the Senior Management Team is available at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/. You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Team at http://www.au.dk/en/about/uni/seniormanagement/newsletter/2013.