News from the senior management team no. 15/2015

Finances restored and focus on quality

Aarhus University has successfully rebalanced its finances. This was the overall conclusion of the annual report for 2014, which the Board approved at its meeting on 29 April.

Aarhus University posted a loss of DKK 12 million for 2014 against a budgeted loss of DKK 60 million. Aarhus University is strongly geared to pursuing its ambitious goals, explains Chairman of the Board Michael Christiansen. 

The university has created a solid basis for meeting external demands while at the same time living up to our own ambition of significantly boosting the quality of the university's two core services, research and education, adds Rector Bech Nielsen. 

  • Read more (in Danish)

Proposal on fund for 'Høfde 42' clean-up not adopted at general meeting

At the general meeting in Auriga Industries A/S on 30 April, the Aarhus University Research Foundation proposed that the shareholders allocate DKK 125 million or 1.5 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of Cheminova A/S to cleaning up the toxic waste depot 'Høfde 42' in Lemvig on the west coast of Denmark.

The proposal was subject to the rules on the protection of minority interests and fell through as it was not supported by the required 90 per cent of the capital or votes represented at the meeting. Of the votes cast, 92.49 per cent were in favour of the proposal. However, only 61.10 per cent of the share capital present voted, and the proposal therefore fell through. The Aarhus University Research Foundation holds 87 per cent of the votes and 38 per cent of the share capital.

Under its very restrictive charter, the foundation is not allowed to donate money to the clean-up once the proceeds have been distributed to the shareholders – but following negotiations with the Danish Business Authority, it had been given permission to propose that the shareholders in Auriga earmark money for a clean-up fund before the disbursement. 

The chairman of the research foundation, Brian Bech Nielsen, was extremely sorry that the proposal was not adopted.

"I take note of the fact that there was a majority for the proposal both among the votes present and the capital represented. As I see it, we have missed a golden opportunity to expedite the clean-up of 'Høfde 42' together with the region, which would have benefited the environment, the region and, not least, the employees at the former Cheminova. The research foundation has not changed its views because the vote went against us, but it is very hard to see how we will be able to contribute to the clean-up, except through donations for research projects on soil contamination – and this does not solve the problem," said Brian Bech Nielsen immediately after the annual general meeting. 

  • See AUFF's proposal (in Danish)
  • Link to Brian Bech Nielsen's comments on the proposal (in Danish)

AU to attend Denmark's Political Festival on Bornholm

This year, Aarhus University is hosting a number of education and research policy debates as well as giving a number of research presentations at Denmark's Political Festival on Bornholm on 11-14 June. The programme has almost been finalised, and includes:


Three debates on the quality of Danish education: in primary and lower secondary schools, in upper secondary schools and in post-secondary education


Theme day on the sea and sustainability


Debate on welfare technology, public sector consultancy and "Tænkepause om Loven" as well as workshops on food and sensorics


Tour of the ship

Like last year, all the events will be held on board the research vessel Aurora, which will be berthed in Allinge Harbour throughout Denmark's Political Festival. The programme is being planned in collaboration with the Danish University Extension and the City of Aarhus.

Please get in touch if you will also be participating at Denmark's Political Festival. For more information about AU's participation, please contact Rikke S. Lindhard on


  • 28 May: Holst-Knudsen Award Ceremony
  • 17 June: Meeting of the University Board 

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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