News from the Senior Management Team no. 20/2014

Better possibilities for participating in the analysis process

At the suggestion of, among others, the members of the analysis panel, the senior management team has extended the deadline for submitting proposals for improvements from 10 September to 19 September. According to the senior management team, the extension will give more people the chance to consider the senior management team's proposals. The extension means that the timing of the final decision-making will also be postponed.

Furthermore, it is still possible to comment on the report, to draw attention to any unidentified issues or to contribute ideas for improvements. The deadline for submitting comments to is 1 July. All comments which are sent to this email address will be forwarded to the senior management team.

Comments from the analysis panel 

Last week, the senior management team received the analysis panel's comments on the expert group's report. The comments were presented at an open meeting for employees and students in Stakladen. The meeting was also streamed, so that staff and students at other locations were able to follow the proceedings (in Danish). At the meeting, Rector Brian Bech Nielsen thanked the members of the expert group and the analysis panel for their contributions and considerable input. In commissioning the analysis, the senior management team wanted to shed light on problems at the university, and according to the senior management team, this has been achieved to everyone's satisfaction.  

Mutual respect

With reference to some of the comments in the reports, particularly with respect to the administrative staff, the rector made it clear that it is important to maintain a proper and respectful tone among employees at Aarhus University. We are all hard-working employees who are deeply committed to  Aarhus University, so we need to “go after the ball, not the player”, as the rector put it.

Senior management team to present proposals on 15 August

The senior management team will presents its proposals for solutions on 15 August at an open meeting in Stakladen. More information on this will follow on the website and in this newsletter.  

Johnny Laursen appointed acting dean of Arts

As previously announced, Associate Professor Johnny Laursen has been appointed acting dean of Arts from 1 July 2014.  At the request of Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, he has taken on the job as acting dean until  a new dean is hired.  Laursen has announced that he will not be applying for the position of dean of Arts. Laursen comes from a position as associate professor at the Department of Culture and Society and head of the Graduate School, Arts.

Johnny Laursen is replacing Dean Mette Thunø, who is stepping down on 1 July.

The call for applications for the position of dean of Arts is expected to be ready after the summer holidays, so that a new dean can start before the end of the year.

Three extensions and a new department head at ST

Three of the four positions as head of department at Science and Technology have been extended, while the Department of Computer Science has a new man at the helm. 

Hans Brix and Peter Henriksen have been acting heads of department at the Department of Bioscience since May 2013, and it has now been agreed that they should continue. At the Department of Food Science, Michelle Williams, the current head of department, has also had her position extended.

Kurt Jensen, who has been head of the Department of Computer Science since 1998, is now handing over the reins to Professor Lars Birkedal as of 1 July 2014. Kurt Jensen is continuing as deputy department head and has also been appointed director of AU Summer University.

Read articles about the four heads of department:


New funding for non-targeted research

Six AU researchers were among the recipients when the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF) awarded funding from the Sapere Aude career programme.

AU recipients of Sapere Aude Step 3 funding are:

  • • Professor Ove Christiansen from the Department of Chemistry
  • • Professor with Special Responsibilities Philip Hofmann, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy

Both are receiving DKK 11.9 million from the pool.

Four researchers from Aarhus University have received grants from the Sapere Aude programme's Step 2 funding for new research leaders:

  • • Professor Rune Slothus, Department of Political Science and Government
  • • Associate Professor Jakob Fog Bentzon, Department of Clinical Medicine
  • • Postdoc Bjørn Panyella Pedersen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • • Assistant Professor Andreas Basse-O'Connor, Department of Mathematics

The four researchers will each receive grants of between six and seven million Danish kroner.

  • • Read more (in Danish)

The Danish Council for Independent Research Council (DDF) has also just awarded funding for 181 research projects in Denmark. Of these, 72 of the grants have been awarded to researchers at Aarhus University. There was tough competition for the funding, as the Danish Council for Independent Research received a total of 1,244 applications from all academic areas. 

Copenhagen – capital of research

Scientists from all over the world are currently meeting in Copenhagen to participate in the academic event Euroscience Open Forum 2014 (ESOF) as well as Science in the City, which communicates science to the general public.

In conjunction with Science in the City, what amounts to an unofficial European championship in science shows is being staged. AU has joined forces with DTU to form a strong ‘national team’ which competed last Saturday and Sunday to stage the best science show in competition with teams from other European countries.

  • • Read more (in Danish)

Aarhus University is also represented with a wide range of research projects in Science in the City, partly in a tent with different researchers, and partly 

in the Carlsberg City District in Copenhagen, which is where the entire event is taking place.  

Admission is free to all the Science in the City activities.

The academic event ESOF was officially opened on Sunday, with speeches by HM The Queen, President of the European Commission José Barroso, the Minister for Higher Education and Science, Sofie Carsten Nielsen, and President of Euroscience and former rector of Aarhus University Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen.

Euroscience is behind ESOF, which is one of Europe's biggest research events, and which is expected to attract up to 5,000 scientists, politicians and businesspeople and journalists over the week. ESOF is held every other year.

AU selects new telephone services operator

Aarhus University is switching from TDC to Telenor. The change only covers employees' mobile phones and tablets, which will therefore require new SIM cards. Everyone will be able to keep their existing telephone numbers.  

The change of operator will not include home workstations and other technical equipment.

The university will save millions of kroner by making the switch to Telenor.



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