News from the Senior Management Group no. 18/2011

AU researchers and PhD students recognised at prestigious awards ceremony

The recipients of this year's Rigmor and Carl Holst-Knudsen Award are Dr Lise Hannestad, senior associate professor at the Department of Anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistics, and Dr Flemming Besenbacher, director of iNANO (the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center). Both researchers have achieved the highest level of academic distinction and international recognition. Each researcher received a cash prize of DKK 100,000.

The award is named after the late Carl Holst-Knudsen, a prominent local citizen and politician who was instrumental in the early development of AU. This year's award marks Carl Holst-Knudsen's 125th birthday.

Seven exceptionally talented PhD students from AU were also recognised during the ceremony with the AUFF PhD award of DKK 50,000.

  • Read more about the seven recipients and their doctoral research (in Danish)

Seventeen department heads and AU Herning centre director appointed

Seventeen of twenty-six department heads and AU Herning's centre director have now been appointed. This brings AU an important step closer to finalising the managerial structure of the four main academic areas. The department heads will join the dean and the vice-deans in the strategic senior management group for each of the four main academic areas: Arts, Science and Technology, Health, and School of Business and Social Sciences.

It is expected that eight of the remaining nine new department heads will be appointed by 1 September, and the last position will be filled in early 2012.

Natural sciences research at AU ranked best in Scandinavia

A new report from NordForsk, the Nordic Council's research board, ranks AU research in the natural sciences in the absolute elite  in Scandinavia.

The report assesses research productivity and impact, and AU performs exceptionally well in a number of fields. For example, chemistry researchers at AU are on average cited twice as often as their colleagues at other Scandinavian universities, including the University of Copenhagen.

AU has a high citation rate  in a range of fields,  including biology, physics, mathematics and material science (including nanotechnology and chemistry).

Although the ranking has a Scandinavian focus, it also takes average worldwide citation frequency into account. Eight natural sciences and health sciences research fields are analysed, and AU researchers perform well above the worldwide average in seven of these areas. The Technical University of Denmark also performed well in the ranking.

The ranking is based on a biobliometric analysis of articles and citations registered in a number of global research databases.


Universities Denmark approves of amendments to the University Act

The Danish Parliament has just ratified a number of amendments to the University Act. Universities Denmark considers the majority of the amendments to be improvements on the existing legislation. For example, the act now specifies that the university board must include measures to ensure transparency and employee co-determination in its bylaws. This process is already well under way at AU. The amendments are the result of prolonged negotiation and discussion in which Universities Denmark has repeatedly argued for the necessity of a clear distinction between the spheres of responsibility of the minister and of the university boards. Another amendment means that the goals in development contracts between the universities and the ministry will henceforth be determined through dialogue rather than being dictated by the minister.


Official opening of University Student House Aarhus

The official opening of the new Studenterhus Århus activiity and service centre in the University Student House will take place on Wednesday 1 June. The senior management group is pleased that Studenterhus Århus has found a suitable base at AU and will be represented at the opening ceremony.


  • 1 June: Official opening of University Student House Aarhus
  • 15 June: The Rector's summer speech
  • 17 June: AU celebrates
  • 23 June: Main Liaison Committee meeting

The Senior Management Group publishes a newsletter every week. This newsletter includes a brief description of current activities and discussions. You can sign up for the Danish version of the newsletter at, after which you will receive an e-mail whenever the newsletter is issued.

If you would like to subscribe to the English version of News from the Senior Management Group, please go to The English version of News from the Senior Management Group is available at You can read previous editions of News from the Senior Management Group at