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Aarhus BSS gets royal centre for public leadership

In May 2018, a new interdisciplinary centre for public leadership will open at the Department of Political Science. Researchers from all departments at Aarhus BSS will be involved in the centre, as will HRH Crown Prince Frederik. His involvement makes good sense since he is also a public leader - albeit a somewhat unusual one, says Center Director Lotte Bøgh Andersen.

2018.03.15 | Ingrid Marie Fossum

The new centre will be located in the university’s oldest building, building 1340. Here Crown Prince Frederik’s great-grandfather King Christian X laid the foundation stone for the university in 1932. Photo: Aarhus BSS Communication

Professor of Political Science Lotte Bøgh Andersen has high expectations for the new Crown Prince Frederik Center for Public Leadership, which she will be heading. Public administration research at the Department of Political Science, Aarhus BSS, is already ranked as the sixth best in the world, and with its name, the centre models itself on Harvard Kennedy School: Center for Public Leadership.

The centre opens on 23 May this year and will be the first royal centre at Aarhus BSS as HRH Crown Prince Frederik will lend his name and reputation to the centre. The Crown Prince will also be affiliated with the centre as part of its governance committe

Bridging world-class research and public leadership in practise

Through its research and research dissemination, the centre aims to contribute to improving leaders in the public sector for the benefit of citizens and society.

“With the new centre, we have an even better opportunity to continue our international frontier research in public leadership. And by strengthening the development of leaders and management in the public sector, we are able to contribute to better results in public sector institutions,” says Lotte Bøgh Andersen.

Currently, Aarhus BSS is helping leaders develop their skills through a number of executive Master’s degree programmes e.g. the Master of Public Governance.  In future, students on the Bachelor’s level will also learn how to be a good leader.

“As a centre, we create value by being in continuous dialogue with students, researchers, the governance committee and public sector leaders about the applicability of our research. We will be collaborating closely with municipalities and regions as well as with government organisations and organisations for leaders. We want our research to be applied by the public sector institutions,” says Lotte Bøgh Andersen.

Interdisciplinary research with international outlook

According to the centre management, you need to draw on several academic fields to develop successful public leadership. For this reason, researchers from all departments at Aarhus BSS will contribute to the centre, which will also collaborate with the faculties Arts and Health.

“Naturally, we have researchers from the Department of Political Science where research field of public administration is already among the best in the world. Then we have the economists, who are analytically strong and experts in drawing on register data. This helps us explore whether public management has an effect: Do children perform better in school? Do the unemployed find work? Researchers from MGMT contribute with knowledge of the interplay between the public and private sector. BTECH has a lot of experience collaborating with practitioners, and we also draw on organisational psychologists from the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences. Law is also important as there are many legal aspects involved in developing good public leadership,” says Lotte Bøgh Andersen.

The centre management hopes that better research in a stronger and even more interdisciplinary environment will contribute to attracting top researchers from all over the world. Two or three visiting professors will be affiliated with the centre, which will also offer ten researchers the chance to go on research stays abroad during the five-year period for which the centre has been granted funding.

The centre also aims to increase student mobility from Denmark to top international universities. Among other things, 20 students from Aarhus BSS will get the opportunity to study abroad at some of the world’s leading universities.

The Crown Prince will have a special role

The new centre will be located in the university’s oldest building, building 1340. Here Crown Prince Frederik’s great-grandfather King Christian X laid the foundation stone for the university in 1932.

HRH Crown Prince Frederik holds an MSc in Political Science from the Department of Political Science and studied the same subject at Harvard University from 1992 to 1993. He has announced that he would like to contribute to managing the centre and follow and influence its activities. He will do so as part of the centre’s governance committee.

“The Crown Prince is also a public leader – albeit a somewhat unusual one,” says future Center Director Lotte Bøgh Andersen, who is deeply honoured by the collaboration.

In addition to HRH Crown Prince Frederik, the governance committee consists of Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, Dean Thomas Pallesen, Head of the Department of Political Science Peter Munk Christiansen, Professor Sandra Groeneveld from Leiden University, Professor Donald P. Moynihan from University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as representatives from the centre donor. The committee will meet once a year and offer consultancy and constructive dialogue to the centre management in relation to the centre’s activities.

The establishment of the centre was made possible by a generous donation from Købmand Herman Sallings Fond.

Inauguration on 23 May 2018

To mark the occasion of his 50th birthday, The Crown Prince himself will inaugurate the Crown Prince Frederik Center for Public Leadership. The opening festivities take place in the university’s Main Hall and are followed by an official inauguration in building 1340. Here a piece of art will be revealed as a birthday present to The Crown Prince from the Danish Government and the Danish Parliament and a piece of art donated by the New Carlsberg Foundation. HRH Crown Prince Frederik and the Minister for Higher Education and Science Søren Pind will deliver speeches. Before the actual inauguration, you have the opportunity to participate in workshops on public management. You can also take part even if you are not signed up for the official opening.

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