Thomas Pallesen re-appointed as dean of Aarhus BSS

Thomas Pallesen, the current dean of Aarhus BSS, has just been re-appointed for another six-year term. T university and the faculty have a steady hand on the helm in troubled times, the rector said.

Dean Thomas Pallesen
Dean Thomas Pallesen Photo: AU Foto

"A responsible and highly respected leader who understands his faculty inside out and at the same time has a solid analytical perspective on the university sector as a whole."

This is how Rector Brian Bech Nielsen, who chaired the appointment committee, sums up the reasons for the committee’s unanimous decision to re-appoint Thomas Pallesen as dean of Aarhus BSS. He said:

“Thomas has succeeded in leading the faculty with a steady hand through a decade of political upheavals with significant consequences. Throughout the turmoil caused by the many reforms, he has kept his eyes firmly fixed on the essentials: the quality of the faculty’s offerings.” He also stressed the dean’s contribution to the work of the senior management team:

"In addition to his personal qualities, his background as a professor of public administration enables him to contribute important larger perspectives on the development of the faculty and the university, which is incredibly valuable for AU as a whole.”

Successful consolidation of the faculty

Pallesen served as head of the Department of Political Science from 2009 to 2015, when he was appointed dean of the relatively newly formed Aarhus BSS.

Since then, Pallesen has played a major role in unifying and consolidating the faculty, according to the rector. And in coming years, the organisational and academic consolidation of the faculty will be enhanced by greater geographical consolidation, when Aarhus BSS relocates programmes currently offered on the Fuglesangs Allé campus to the University City, closer to the programmes offered on the main campus in the University Park. This consolidation of activities is important to Pallesen. He said:

"The move is a major milestone for the faculty, and I am very much looking forward to continuing the efforts we have launched to create a good foundation in the University City. Our research and teaching staff at all of our departments deliver a persistent and commendable effort to both strengthen the quality of our research and research-based education and the link between the different disciplines, often in a very productive interaction with our external partners.

This is possible not least because we have a very capable and effective faculty management team which is supported by a highly professional and responsive administration.”

An asset to Aarhus BSS and AU

In addition to the upcoming physical relocation, Pallesen also points to the implementation of the Master’s reform as one of the major tasks of the coming years. This is a task that will both require a strong commitment to academic excellence in addition to a large portion of innovation. And according to Rector Bech Nielsen, Pallesen is an asset to Aarhus BSS and AU in this regard:

"If we are to get the best out of the new degree programmes that will come in the wake of the Master's reform - and we must, for the sake of our future students - then we will have to succeed in developing attractive educational offerings and continue to cultivate our collaboration with future employers. Pallesen’s ability to innovate in collaboration with his faculty management team is a great advantage for us. This is also reflected in the research at BSS; the faculty has succeeded in building bridges to other disciplines and bringing its own research areas into play in the context of broad collaborations.”

Pallesen’s new six-year term begins on 1 July. The position may be extended for an additional three years.

The members of the advisory group and the appointment committee were:

Advisory group:

  • Rector Brian Bech Nielsen (chair)
  • Associate Professor Anne Bøllingtoft, Department of Management
  • Associate Professor Jean-Paul de Cros Peronard, Department of Business Development and Technology
  • Professor Palle Bo Madsen, Department of Law
  • Professor Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen, Department of Political Science
  • Susanne Jensen, Data Manager, Department of Economics and Business Economics

Appointment committee:

  • Rector Brian Bech Nielsen (chair)
  • Pro-rector Berit Eika 
  • University Director Kristian Thorn
  • Dean Maja Horst, Faculty of Arts
  • Vice-dean Niels Mejlgaard, Aarhus BSS
  • Anne Bækby Johansen, Head of Aarhus BSS Administrative Centre
  • Deputy University Director Anne Lindholm Behnk, AU HR
  • Jan Tønnesvang, Head of the Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences