News from the Senior Management Team no. 14/2012

Countdown to Excellence conference commences

This week, the area around the Lakeside Lecture Theatres will draw large numbers of Danish and foreign researchers, politicians and people from the business community when the EU conference Excellence Revisited – the Value of Excellence takes place on 18-20 April.

Editor-in-chief of Nature magazine, Philip Campbell, Professor Rane Willerslev, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation Vilhelm Krull and the President of ERC, Helga Nowotny, are just some of the guests who will help to put tomorrow’s research at the top of the European agenda.

At the Excellence 2012 website you can follow the entire conference and  stay informed about the many conclusions presented during the three-day event.

Environmental debate cancelled

The EU Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik has been forced to cancel his planned visit to Aarhus University. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ debate with the Commissioner and the Secretary General of the WWF Gitte Seeberg, which was scheduled to take place on Thursday 19 April, has therefore unfortunately been cancelled.

New measures to help administrative problems

The management seminar at Sandbjerg, which was held at the end of March, resulted in a number of initiatives designed to strengthen the administrative service offered to employees and students. The university’s senior management team acknowledges the problems which have arisen in connection with the academic development process. It has therefore been a great help that at the seminar and in the preceding few weeks there has been a lot of constructive feedback and suggestions for improvements from employees and students. It gives the university’s senior management team better possibilities for addressing mistakes and shortcomings.

For example, the decentralised administrative service to the departments must be improved by strengthening contact between the departments and the administrative centres and by increasing the decision-making competences of the directorate managers and administrative managers.

Moreover, a user panel will be established to ensure continual sparring on administrative issues and requirements.

In addition, Aarhus University will work with the relevant public bodies to improve user-friendliness in the shared IT systems.

As far as communication is concerned, two user groups have been appointed with a view to developing the university newspaper UNIvers (see news item below), while continued efforts are being made to improve the area at, which contains information on administrative support.

A memo has just been sent to all seminar participants summarising all the measures discussed at Sandbjerg.

  • Read memo (in Danish)


Two user groups to develop UNIvers

The work on developing the university newspaper UNIvers has entered a new phase with the formation of respective project groups for employees and students. Based on experience with, for example, UNIvers, each group has been tasked with recommending how future internal communication can be strengthened.

The members of the project groups have been appointed by the chairs of the academic councils and the student organisations. Moreover, an advisory group has been formed which will regularly inform relevant committees and student organisations about the process.

The two project groups as well as the advisory group will each meet between April and June, and it is expected that a final proposal will be ready during the summer.


Learn about Europe during the Festival of Research

Under the theme of EUROPE, a number of exciting presentations about AU research will take place in the University Park on Friday 20 April in the form of speed lectures, exhibitions, workshops and experiments. Here, guests can find out the size of their carbon footprint, and hear more about Europe’s religious roots and, in particular, the crisis currently facing Europe.

The Festival of Research is free of charge, and both children and adults are welcome.

The event takes place on 20 April at 13.00 to 18.00 in the auditoriums and foyer at the Department of Mathematics, building 1530.

Aarhus University is also holding events in Roskilde, Årslev, Foulum and Herning in connection with the Festival of Research.



  • 18-20 April: EU 2012: Excellence conference
  • 18-20 April: World Cultural Council Prize ceremony
  • 20 April: Festival of Research
  • 24 April: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 25 April: Meeting of the University Board
  • 3 May: The annual ‘boat’ race
  • 14 June: Summer speech

Kind regards,

The Senior Management Team

The Senior Management Team 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.

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