CAS programmes to relocate from Tåsingegade to Nobel Park

In the summer of 2012, Arab and Islamic Studies, the Study of Religion, and Theology will join the other programmes in the new Department of Culture and Society (CAS) at Nobel Park. The move will result in a significant reduction in administrative costs at Arts, as well as a more efficient use of space in the Tåsingegade complex.

Dean Mette Thunø reached the decision to relocate the CAS programmes in cooperation with the university's senior management team. As the Dean herself admits, the decision wasn’t easy:

Over the past few years, the programmes at the former Faculty of Theology succeeded in establishing thriving researcher and student communities in the old orthopaedic hospital. And even though the goal of achieving strong academic integration of the Department of Culture and Society as a whole has first priority, we are very aware of the importance of preserving the cultures which have evolved in connection with the programmes at the former Faculty of Theology.

Millions saved on administrative costs

The relocation from Tåsingegade will result in a significant reduction in operating costs on administrative office space, as the Tåsingegade complex has the capacity to house the administrative centres of both Arts and Business and Social Sciences. The offices at Tåsingegade are large enough to accommodate more staff, and making the most efficient use of this space will enable Arts to reduce its operating costs by approximately DKK 4 million.

'We are constantly looking for ways to save on administrative costs in order to strengthen our academic activities - that is to say, research and education,' says Dean Thunø. She also stresses that the 2012 budget earmarks funds for the academic integration of the new departments and the improvement of Arts' study environment.  

From library to Study Centre

The theological library will relocate to Nobel Park along with Arab and Islamic Studies, the Study of Religion and Theology. A new Study Centre will be established in the space currently occupied by the library.

'This will mean that all students at Arts will have access to student guidance services, study space and administrative service under one roof in a unified Study Centre. They will also be able to enjoy the café and all the other study facilities which already exist at Tåsingegade,' explains Dean Thunø.

The theological library will follow its users to Nobel Park, where it will be integrated into the Nobel Library, which will be renovated and expanded with an additional two floors.  The integration of the two libraries is supported by the library committee's report on Aarhus University Library, which is scheduled for publication in the near future.

'By merging the libraries, we will be able to create a more unified and efficient library. At the same time, it presents an opportunity to rethink our library services with a focus on users' needs, rather than on letting books take up expensive space,' says the Dean.

Integrated interdisciplinary communities

Increased interdisciplinary cooperation is one of the goals of the university's academic development process. Locating Arts' many programmes in Nobel Park will create the best framework for increased interdisciplinary collaboration within the faculty. Students will still have the same affiliation to their degree programme - only now in the context of a community which also includes students from other programmes at Arts as well as Business and Social Sciences.

Bjarke Paarup, head of the Department of Culture and Society, will now establish a new staff and student users' group which will contribute to the work of designing the department's new setting. He prioritises preserving staff and student engagement in the department's research and degree programmes.

'We will strive to ensure a positive research and study culture at CAS when we relocate these programmes to Nobel Park. And it's important that all user groups contribute input and ideas, so that we can create the best conditions for our academic and social activities,' says Dr Paarup.

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