Election Countdown

Dean Thunø's column

The past few weeks have been marked by the excitement of the national elections. Last week, Denmark saw the transfer of power to a new governing coalition, and a new government is being formed: the consequences of this shift for higher education and research in Denmark will be exciting to follow.  At AU, we will soon be holding elections of our own. Elections to the academic councils, PhD committees and boards of studies will take place in November. Many of us are participating actively in the consultation process, which gives academic staff an opportunity to comment on the proposed size, composition and structure of these new representative forums. All of these issues will be discussed and decided by the faculty management team this week. Once the decisions have been communicated to the election secretariat, the big job of preparing the election can begin. We will also soon be deciding on our departmental structure. Intense work has gone into deciding how our departments should be organised, involving several committees and written and oral consultations at café seminars. The faculty management team's proposal is now available, and a final consultation process will take place in September. The final decision on departmental structure will be reached in mid-October.


This autumn, each department will initiate a goal-setting process. The process is intended to bring academic staff members in dialogue with department heads about plans and goals for the future.

The goals and action plans which come out of the process will contribute to the development of a new strategy for AU as a whole, which will  be approved by the AU Board in 2012.


New elected organs will be established at the departments in February 2012 and the new departmental structure will come into effect on 1 January 2012. The structure of our graduate programmes is already in place now that the eight programme heads have been appointed. (A new website on the new Graduate School at Arts is under construction; the old site will remain online until it's ready.) When the results of the elections to the new joint PhD committee are known, the organisation of the graduate school as a whole will also be complete.


The most noticeable change right now is the administrative restructuring involved in the establishment of the new Administration Centre at Arts (ACA). This is affecting all of our departments and centres. TAP staff are packing boxes all over Arts, including on the corridor where my own office is, preparing to move into the new administration centre in Nobelparken. These weeks are marked by a mixture of excitement and regret, as we welcome new faces and say farewell to valued colleagues. I am convinced that we are on our way towards a strong administrative organisation which will be well-prepared to meet future challenges.


If you are uncertain about who's where in our administration, you can find the answers you need on the Flytteplaner (moving plans) site. You will also find an overview of new managers and contact people for each administrative function in ACA.


In the midst of upheaval and our many worries about changes in our daily routines, it was especially delightful to experience the annual celebration with you. It was a major experience for me to be part of the fantastic atmosphere and share your enthusiasm for AU.