News from the senior management team no. 42/2013

A great loss to the university

It was with deep regret that the senior management team learned of the untimely death of Carsten Riis. A special advisor to the management and former dean of the Faculty of Theology, Carsten Riis died on Sunday 8 December following a prolonged period of illness.

Carsten Riis was a true asset to the university, as researcher, dean and – most recently – special advisor to the management. The senior management team was enriched by Carsten Riis’ extensive knowledge, as well as his capacity to create consensus and achieve results.

He left an indelible mark on the development of theology in Aarhus, most recently through an impressive contribution to the development of bibliometrics.

In Carsten Riis, a great many people found a fine manager and colleague and, in particular, a great friend with an infectious sense of humour. Carsten Riis will be deeply missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Jette Riis, and his daughters.

The position of Pro-Rector has been advertised

The position of Pro-Rector for Education at Aarhus University has now been advertised. The job advertisement has been formulated by Rector Brian Bech Nielsen with input from an advisory group comprising an academic staff representative from each of the four main academic areas, a representative from the technical and administrative staff, and a student representative. The members were recommended by the chairman’s assembly of the academic councils, in line with a procedure laid down in the university’s by-laws.

The members of the advisory panel are:

  • Associate Professor Per Stounbjerg – Arts
  • Professor Birgit Schøitt – Science and Technology
  • Professor Georg Sørensen – Business and Social Sciences
  • Associate Professor Anne Mette Mørcke – Health 
  • Special Consultant Lise Skanting
  • Allan Vesterlund, student

When the deadline for applications expires on 3 February, an appointment committee will be convened consisting of the rector, the university director, a dean, a vice-dean for education and a student representative. The committee will be chaired by the rector. 

The advisory group will make recommendations to the rector regarding which applicants should be invited to interviews. A meeting will then be held with the appointment committee to reach a final decision about whom to interview.

After the interviews – which the members of the appointment committee attend – the rector makes a recommendation to the Board. On this basis, the Board makes the final decision concerning the appointment of the new pro-rector.

This is expected to take place at the Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, 30 April 2014.

The new pro-rector for education is to take up his/her duties in June 2014.

Interim management of AU Finance and Planning in place

Jørgen Jørgensen has established a temporary management team for AU Finance and Planning until the position of Deputy Director for the area has been re-filled.

Several people will share responsibility for the management of the administrative division:

In AU Finance, management will be the responsibility of Anette Svejstrup, head of Financial Control, Morten Vils Sørensen, senior consultant, and Jørgen Jørgensen, university director, while Planning Manager Charlotte Lyngholm will head of AU Planning.

The framework for this cooperation, including reporting relationships and other organisational details will be decided as soon as possible, and the position of deputy director of AU Finance and Planning will be advertised in the new year.

Attend the Danish University Extension free of charge in 2014

With support from the Aarhus University Research Foundation, the Danish University Extension is once again opening its doors to current and retired staff and to alumni.

To ensure that this free scheme benefits even more people at Aarhus University, it is no longer possible to enrol a companion free of charge.

To benefit from the scheme:

  • You must be a current or former member of staff at Aarhus University, or a member of the AU alumni network.
  • You may sign up for one class at the Danish University Extension in Aarhus, Emdrup or Herning.

Registration opens at 13.00 on Friday 20 December. The number of places is limited, and they are allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. To register, enter the code AU14 under ‘Specialaftaler’ at The website and the courses are in Danish.

Study progress reform deferred for current students

On Wednesday afternoon, following three days of negotiations, the parties behind the study progress reform agreed to defer the reform for current students for 12 months.

This means that students already enrolled at Aarhus University will be allowed a transition period and will only become subject to the reform in 2015, while the reform will apply to all new students as from 2014.

The deferment of the reform will make it easier for Aarhus University and its students to conform to the new ministerial demands. It is expected that the ministerial order on study progress reform will be sent to the universities early in the new year.

AU contributes to 16 new innovation networks

Aarhus University is involved in 16 of the 22 innovation networks that have recently been awarded grants worth a total of DKK 288 million by the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation.

The innovation networks play a key role in the innovation strategy and they centre on themes as diverse as biomass, marketing and medical technology. The funds from the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation are to be used to set up collaborative projects and to build bridges between researchers, businesses, public sector bodies and other relevant players.

An official overview from the Council reveals that more than 6,000 businesses are currently participating in the activities of the existing innovation networks, and that two-thirds of them employ fewer than 50 people.

Worth DKK 10, 12 or 14 million, the grants to the individual networks are for the period 2014–2018.

AU to collaborate with with Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017

When Aarhus raises the curtain on its year as European Capital of Culture, it will be with Aarhus University as a key strategic partner. This week, AU and Aarhus 2017 signed a partnership agreement designed to boost international relations and reinforce knowledge development.

AU has signed a partnership agreement with Aarhus 2017 which means that the university will play a key strategic role when Aarhus opens its doors as European Capital of Culture in 2017. The objectives of the partnership agreement include launching a range of projects aimed at highlighting the  themes of Aarhus 2017: human, financial and sustainable growth with commitment from AU’s researchers and students. 


  • 11 December: Senior management team meets with the Department of Biomedicine
  • 13 December: Main Liaison Committee meeting
  • 18 December: AU Board meeting
  • 9 January: Extraordinary meeting of the Main Liaison Committee

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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