News from the Senior Management Team no. 39/2012

Academic councils closely involved in follow-up 

The academic councils are an important element in the assessments of the administrative support and the academic organisation which are being launched. The councils will have four members in an analysis panel which will soon be appointed. Here, together with representatives from the Main Liaison Committee, the students and the administration, they will cooperate with the senior management team to prepare the mandate that will set the course of the work to be undertaken by a small expert committee.

Later, the academic councils will act as important consultation bodies when the senior management team submits a draft plan for consultation. The plan to involve the academic councils in the forthcoming follow-up of the academic development process was presented by the rector at the recently held seminar between the senior management team and the academic councils.

Academic councils must be involved more and earlier

The senior management team and the academic councils will make efforts to ensure that the academic councils are involved to a greater extent in the decisions which are made by the senior management team. This was clearly expressed when the academic councils and the senior management team met for an all-day seminar at Sandbjerg.

The purpose of the seminar was to evaluate the situation since 2011 when the academic councils were established, and which back then the management committed itself to involving in all significant decisions.

The seminar was divided into a number of group discussions, and the feedback indicates big differences in how the academic councils have organised themselves, and how the dean and the main academic areas are involving the councils in the decision-making processes. There was general agreement that communication had improved, but that management is still felt to be too far removed.

Members of the academic councils felt that the councils are being used more as hearing bodies rather than, as many would like, as policy-makers. At the same time, members said they were dissatisfied with the short deadlines which occasionally characterise the cases which are submitted for consultation. In this connection, feedback was also needed on the significance of these consultations in the final responses which the senior management team sends to the ministries etc. It was also pointed out that, on their own initiative, the academic councils were due to start discussions about longer term strategic issues, which could then be passed on to the senior management team.

Generally speaking, there was broad agreement at the seminar that constructive collaboration between the senior management team and the academic councils happens when both the management and the councils share their views, thus encouraging a culture of open academic discussion at Aarhus University. A key element in this respect will be the annual joint seminar, which will provide the opportunity to take an in-depth look at selected subjects.

New consortium wins educational teaching contract

Aarhus University is part of a group which, under the management of the University of Southern Denmark, is responsible for pedagogical teacher training in the coming years.

Early last week, the Danish Ministry of Education decided that the consortium, which also comprises Roskilde University and Aalborg University, will in future be responsible for ensuring that teachers in general and vocational upper secondary education will acquire the required pedagogical knowledge. 

The ministry's decision builds further on the existing partnership between AU and the University of Southern Denmark on pedagogical teacher training. The new partnership takes effect from July 2014 to August 2018.

New forum to optimise Danish educational research

The Danish government has launched a "Forum for Coordinating Educational Research". The new forum will provide an overview of what is being researched within the entire educational sector and how the research can be optimised.

According to the ministry, the new forum has "the task of creating better coordination between the research and development environments at universities and university colleges. The aim is that the research findings are applied out in the schools, among other things through teacher education and continuing education, so that teachers are always kept up to date.

The primary focus of the new forum is research into and the development of the Danish primary and lower secondary school. The government has expressed a wish that the quality of teacher training is raised, which can be realised through more intensive collaboration between universities and university colleges.

Professor Jens Rasmussen from the Department of Education at Aarhus University will chair the committee.

Finance Committee approves Health building

The Danish Parliament's Finance Committee has approved the financing of the building and renovation plans that will pave the way for optimum and modern biomedical research facilities at Aarhus University.

Consequently, next year the Danish University and Property Agency will start construction of new buildings totalling 14,921 square metres of research and educational facilities which are expected to be ready for use in 2016. The plans also include the renovation of the Bartholin and Anatomy building complexes, which is expected to be completed in 2018.

Most of the total building sum of almost DKK 814 million is being financed by the Danish Building and Property Agency through the SEA scheme, while more than DKK 254 million is being paid by the so-called Unilab funds for modernising and raising the standards of laboratories. Aarhus University is co-financing the project with a contribution of DKK 63.6 million, which falls due in 2016.

The winning project was put together last year by a team made up of turnkey consultants Cubo Arkitekter A/S, consulting engineers Lemming & Eriksson, Rådgivende Ingeniører A/S FRI as well as landscape architects Thing & Wainø, Landskabsarkitekter aps.

Candidates for research awards sought

The Danish Council for Strategic Research is currently seeking candidates for its Strategic Research Awards 2014.

Two prizes of DKK 75,000 will be awarded, one to a research talent whose work shows particularly strong innovation potential, and another to a talent whose work focuses on international collaboration.

Researchers and research directors are welcome to recommend candidates.

Everyone who is participating or has participated in a project financed by the Danish Council for Strategic Research may be considered for the prizes, which will be awarded by the Danish Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education Morten Østergaard at the Danish Council for Strategic Research's anniversaryon 10 March 2014.


  • 11 December: Senior management team meets with the Department of Biomedicine
  • 18 December: AU Board meeting

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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