Collaboration and causes during five years in the field of education

Having spent five years as the vice-dean for education, Per Andersen has decided to return to the Department of Law. During this period, the field of education has developed across several parameters and most recently, the physical shutdown of the university has brought about an entirely new set of terms for teaching. We look back at Per Andersen’s contribution to collaboration, work and innovation at Aarhus BSS.

2021.02.16 | Ida Marie Wøhlk Vilbæk

Per Andersen

Photo: AU Photo

When we ask about the five years Per Andersen has spent as vice-dean for education, the answers are not just about what Per has achieved. They are about how he managed to achieve it: through collaboration. Dean Thomas Pallesen says:

"Per has been excellent at fostering collaboration across the faculty. He is very skilled at listening to his stakeholders, and he is persistent in finding solutions that everyone feel reflected in. In this way, he has helped fulfil our ambition to offer strong degree programmes within business and social sciences as well as the mix between the two."

Per Andersen, the facilitator

Per Andersen’s ability to facilitate and include is emphasised in particular. Director of studies Carsten Jensen, Department of Political Science, comments:

“Per Andersen has sat at the top of the table trying to accommodate a very diverse series of interests. His flair for making collaboration and processes run smoothly has been crucial, especially when looking at the very atypical processes and paces surrounding the response to coronavirus."

Director of Studies Lars Esbjerg, Department of Management, agrees:

“Per Andersen has been open to the suggestions of others’. He has not presented us with ready solutions awaiting mere formal stamps of approval - not even during the period with coronavirus. It has indeed been very positive how everyone has been able to contribute to and discuss the most desirable course of action."

Per Andersen, the workhorse

Another feature often mentioned is Per Andersen’s substantial work capacity.

“Per can make things work and likewise, he himself works very hard,” Carsten Jensen smiles.

“He really is what you could call a workhorse. His personal robustness is enormous,” observes vice-dean for research and talent Per Baltzer Overgaard.

As the vice-dean for education, you are under a certain amount of pressure seeing as education is such a much-debated topic, politically as well as in the general public and at the faculty itself. Robustness is a clear advantage.

Per Andersen, the innovator

Per Andersen has also dedicated himself to enhancing the quality of the degree programmes at the faculty, including the role played by technology. As Carsten Jensen points out:

“Per has pressed for a further development of the field of education, among other things by occasionally posing some cheeky questions.”

However, his ambition to think in new ways has grown from a historical consciousness.

“Per respects history a great deal but without any conservatism. He is not afraid of challenging alleged knowledge. This has made him skilful in finding common ground across traditional boundaries and at contesting entrenched perceptions and ideas,” Per Baltzer Overgaard remarks.

Looking back

What will come to mind when in a few years time, we look back at Per Andersen’s time as a vice-dean? The suggestions vary but still paint a picture of Per Andersen’s contributions and interests:

  • Putting Educational IT into operation, especially during the year of coronavirus
  • Digitalisation as a topic and method in teaching
  • Good talks with colleagues about everything from philosophy to football

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