The Dean summer greeting
The dean thanks Arts staff for their dedication and hard work, and sums up an eventful semester - as well as current and coming initiatives.
Dear Arts faculty and staff
Summer is finally here, and a well-deserved holiday is around the corner. We ended the spring semester with style on 15 June with a summer party in stereo on both campuses. I would like to thank all five hundred participants and the party committee. Together, you made the summer party everything it should be: a convivial celebration of the end of the academic year and the beginning of the summer holiday.
The holiday is more welcome than ever after an extremely eventful semester. A new government took power - and political expectations for higher education have increased as a consequence. The new minister emphasises education to an unprecedented extent, and expectations are high: we must increase students' activity level, cooperate more with other post-secondary educational institutions such as the university colleges, and increase our engagement in researcher talent development. We have also set ambitious goals ourselves: we must implement the new strategy which will be approved by the AU Board in the autumn.
We are in a strong position to live up to all of these demands and expectations, internal as well as external. We have had an intense spring, with the establishment of the new structure at all of our departments and a good working relationship with the Administration Centre, Arts. The new degree programme directors, directors of study and chairs of the boards of studies in particular have made extraordinary efforts to firmly establish the structure of our study programme activities in a relatively new and untried administrative framework. I would like to thank all of your for your willingness to take on such a variety of ad hoc responsibilities and for your great patience and commitment to our degree programmes and our students.
The structure of the departments is falling into place, both with regard to research and education. The liaison committees and occupational health and safety committees are also established, as are the deparmental forums. Here at Arts, The National Centre for Culture and Learning, the Academic Council, the liaison committee and occupational health and safety committee have already gotten to work, and we will be submitting our nominations of members for the Arts Advisory Board to the rector for approval right after the summer holiday. In the autumn, the Academic Council will focus on a new professor policy, and the liaison committee will be working on a new salary agreement and a new local working hours agreement.
Thanks to your efforts this spring, our organisation is ready to tackle the projects ahead of us in the autumn semester. On top of this major effort, our academic activities have continued at full strength: we have earned more STÅ and won more grants (both AUFF and external) than we had expected. I could name numerous examples of good projects. To name just a few: the Niels Bohr chair, a DKK 29m grant from the Danish National Research Foundation,was awarded to Anna Tsing (http://www.dg.dk/). And the national Digital Humanities Lab project was awarded DKK 20m in research infrastructure funding. The Digital Humanities Lab will be inaugurated on 10 September by Minister of Higher Education Morten Østergaard, and all are welcome to attend and learn mere about new digital research tools and their influence on our future research methods.
After the summer holiday, we will be welcoming many new students - and starting to planning the implementation of AU's new strategy, with a special focus on increasing levels of study activity and on internationalisation. Before we start these new projects, however, it is important to retain our focus on making sure the new structure functions well. Therefore, competency development courses will be made available to staff members in the autumn: teaching with new digital technologies, PhD supervision, degree programme managment, research programme management, department management, etc.
More information will be posted at medarbejdere.au.dk/arts..
I am looking forward to your continued active, constructive participation after the summer holiday, when we will launch new development initiatives to strengthen the faculty's core activities: education and research.
I wish you all a good summer!
Dean Mette Thunø